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Long Commutes = Need for Affordable/Reliable Energy

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Categorized in: New Jersey, Taxes

People in New Jersey spend a lot of time on the road-energy needs to be accessible, affordable, and reliable for the state’s businesses and residents. 

A lot of us here in New Jersey spend a good bit of time on the road commuting to New York City and Philadelphia.  To us, energy costs and security are not an abstract issue-but an everyday challenge.

In tough times like these-and in better times too-we need to have access to reliable sources of affordable gasoline to get to work and run our businesses.  But lawmakers in Washington and Trenton don’t seem to get it.

Instead of coming up with laws to increase domestic production and lower costs, federal and state lawmakers seem to spend what little time they dedicate to energy issues on making it harder and more expensive to locate, refine, sell, and use oil and natural gas.

We all know that we face a complex energy future that will include various energy sources.  But to act as if oil and gas won’t be part of this mix-and the primary part of this mix for the foreseeable future-is to deny reality.

New Jersey residents, and folks around the country, need energy solutions both now and in the future.  Policymakers need to take a hard look at what day-to-day life is like for regular people and decide what energy solutions they think are right.  To the rest of us, the answers seem clear. 

 

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Imports Fuel Nevada's Transportation Needs

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Categorized in: Domestic Oil, Nevada

Nevada is dependent on imported petroleum products-but demand for transportation fuels in the state is expected to increase by 25% in the next five years.

Transportation fuels-like gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel-account for 33% of Nevada’s energy consumption. But most of these transportation fuels are made with petroleum derivatives, and with no petroleum resources, the state must rely on imports to keep things moving.

Why does Nevada need so much transportation fuel?

  • With an annual growth rate of 4.4%, Nevada is the fastest growing state in the country. Simply put, more people need more fuel.
  • Nevada’s two military air installations use high amounts of jet fuel.
  • In this vast desert state, it takes more fuel to get from here to there. It’s a proven fact that states with smaller populations and long driving distances have a higher-than-average per capita consumption of gasoline.
  • In 2008 alone, the state had 39.1 million tourists, placing a high demand on its airports, and using large amounts of ground transportation fuel.

Where does Nevada’s transportation fuel come from?

Nevada relies on California refineries for its petroleum products. But only 37% of the crude oil refined in California is produced there. The rest comes from places like Alaska, Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Iraq, and Mexico. With production in Alaska down, Nevada will by default be much more reliant on foreign oil.

The growing debate over domestic energy policies seems far removed from Nevada-but the decisions made will have a lasting impact on the state’s transportation sector. Energy Citizens must speak out. Strong and stable domestic energy policies are good for Nevada’s transportation needs.

 

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Mississippians Still Believe in Offshore Drilling

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Categorized in: Domestic Oil, Mississippi, Oil Sands

The offshore drilling moratorium would hinder Mississippi’s economy, discourage energy production, and bring more hardships to an area still reeling from the Gulf Coast disaster. 

Like our neighbor, Louisiana, Mississippi has been hit hard by the recent oil spill in the Gulf, affecting industries from transportation to manufacturing to tourism.   With recent investments in oil and natural gas development both on and offshore of the Gulf Coast, however, now is not the not time to further limit our energy opportunities.

The Gulf oil spill has warranted a powerful response from federal, state, and local agencies-as well it should.  However, we cannot afford to overreact with an extended moratorium on offshore drilling, which would completely shut down exploration and investment in energy development that produce much-needed jobs for Mississippi.   What we need is to continue expanding our oil and gas production capabilities to boost our economy and meet our high energy demand, both in the state and across the country.

Mississippians understand the importance of offshore and deepwater drilling in securing our economic and energy future.  In fact, the vast majority of residents in the Magnolia State still support such energy investment.  Washington is just too far removed to understand the energy needs and issues facing our state.

With substantial progress being made in terms of surface oil cleanup of the Gulf spill, we should be looking forward to the future of energy production and utilizing all available resource to meet our state’s-and the nation’s-energy needs. 

As Energy Citizens, we can help ensure continued development of all our energy resources-and the continued recovery and growth of our state.

 

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Arizona's First Refinery Brings Clean Fuels and Independence

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Categorized in: Arizona, Domestic Oil

Arizona is building its first oil refinery-which is the first new U.S. refinery in 30 years , and is also the first U.S. refinery specifically designed to produce clean petroleum fuels.

There’s great news coming out of Yuma County!

Arizona’s first oil refinery has been approved to be built there-the first new U.S. refinery in over 30 years. When it becomes operational, it will be the first U.S. refinery specifically designed to produce clean petroleum fuels.

This is positive news for Arizona’s families on many fronts.

First, the refinery will free Arizona from total dependence on other states for its transportation fuels. It will produce approximately 6 million gallons per day of gasoline, diesel fuel, and jet fuel-fuel refined at home that will provide a steady supply of petroleum products.

The refinery will also give a big boost to the local economy.

It is expected that more than 3,000 people will be hired to construct the refinery, and more than 600 jobs will be created to operate it. Just as exciting is the ripple effect that will be seen throughout the region, as new businesses are created and tax dollars flow in. The refinery alone is expected to pay tens of millions of dollars annually in taxes.

The refinery has met its share of challenges. Setbacks in the form of a land transfer dispute, the rezoning process, and a location change have delayed the original target date, but it is anticipated that the refinery will be in full operation by late 2013.

Energy Citizens can help make the refinery a reality. Lend your support at public meetings and hearings-and spread the word. A local refinery is great for Arizona!

 

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Which Way are the Winds Really Blowing for Massachusetts?

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Categorized in: Massachusetts, Taxes

This summer, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley negotiated a better deal for wind energy from the Cape Wind offshore wind power project. But will ratepayers really see lower costs, as promised?

The answer to this question is nearly a decade in the making. In 2001, Cape Wind began to seek permits to build a 130-turbine offshore wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound. Ground has not been broken, but the current plan is to produce 240 megawatts of renewable wind energy.

Even better, Cape Wind projected that its wind farm could save ratepayers $25 million a year.

But the math quickly grew fuzzy. The cost of the project could run as high as $2 billion, and Cape Wind will sell the power to National Grid  and possibly other major utilities at a significantly higher rate than power produced by traditional sources, including coal- and natural gas-fired plants. In turn, Massachusetts will buy this power from National Grid.

Massachusetts economists David G. Tuerck and Jonathan Haughton, writing in the Boston Globe, estimate that ratepayers could pay an extra $86 million annually. Even with the new deal cut by Attorney General Coakley, ratepayers will pay more.

Consumers and businesses may be willing to pay more for wind power, but we need hard facts and realistic forecasts to make decisions. That’s part of the goal of Energy Citizens: helping all of us, including policymakers, to be realistic when we talk the dollars and cents of energy.

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High Oil and Natural Gas Prices Hurt Marylanders

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Categorized in: Maryland, Taxes

Transportation is too important to Maryland’s economy to risk a tax increase on oil. 

A diverse group, Marylanders make their living in many ways. Poultry farmers, watermen, government employees, small business owners and their employees – all make up the Maryland workforce.  Every one of them will be affected if oil and natural gas prices go up due to legislation being considered in Congress.

In more rural and suburban areas of the state, some people have to drive long distances to work. While those who drive to DC or Baltimore for work may not drive as far, they spend a lot of time in their cars. Farmers and watermen depend on affordable petroleum to power their tractors, combines, and boats. So do the tourists who flock to Ocean City in the summer.  How will raising taxes on oil affect these people and the fragile economic recovery?

Even those Marylanders who don’t drive regularly, such as the many who commute to DC or Baltimore by public transportation, are affected by higher energy prices. The electricity that powers the DC Metro, the Baltimore light rail, the MARC train, and other public transportation sources comes, in part, from facilities that generate energy from petroleum or natural gas. If the price for these fuels goes up, so do the tickets to ride public transportation. How many of these families could easily absorb this new cost?

Raising taxes on domestic energy producers will also have a direct effect on Maryland businesses and workers. There is a small but important natural gas industry in western Maryland which provides much-needed jobs in the region. Penalizing domestic energy production could put the men and women of this industry out of work.  That’s why being part of Energy Citizens is so important.

 

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Gulf oil issues hit home in Idaho

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Categorized in: Domestic Oil, Idaho

Policy decisions about domestic energy production and the makeup of America’s energy supply will directly affect our state’s families and businesses.

A moratorium on domestic offshore drilling would have profound implications for our fuel supply and our energy security because Idahoans are completely dependent on outside sources of oil and natural gas. If U.S. companies are not allowed to tap domestic reserves, we will be more subject to reliance on foreign sources.

 Putting producers out of business in the Gulf of Mexico would obviously be a blow to states like Louisiana and Texas, costing them jobs and economic stimulus, but Idaho would be deeply affected too. Without a steady flow of gasoline, diesel, and other fuels, Idaho businesses would be unable to function and our state economy would flounder.

 The more energy we produce ourselves, the less we have to import. Idaho, with rich hydroelectric resources and other alternative fuel potential, is active in the quest to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and achieve a more balanced energy supply.

 But we’re fully aware that the day when alternative fuels will become our main sources of power is still decades away. Until then we need oil and natural gas, and the more control we can exert over their production and supply, the better off we will be.

 Plunging blindly into a moratorium on domestic drilling would be foolish, especially when America is just beginning to emerge from the recession. Our emotions about the Gulf spill should not dictate energy policy.

 

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Federal Energy Proposals Will Have Huge Impact on Delaware

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Categorized in: Delaware, Taxes

Proposals being considered in Congress will raise energy prices, hurting Delaware businesses, commuters, and everyone in the state who pays an energy bill. 

While Washington, D.C., is only a short drive from Delaware, it often seems the discussions there are a world away from the lives of Delawareans. But the energy policies under consideration in Congress, from a Cap and Trade plan to a tax hike on energy production, will have a huge impact on the state.

All areas of the state would be affected by higher energy prices. In northern Delaware, the energy-intensive companies such as the chemical producers and manufacturing companies provide jobs for tens of thousands of Delawareans.  In lower Delaware, farmers rely on low-cost energy to help them stay in business. And there will be far fewer tourists flocking to Rehoboth, Dewey, and Delaware’s other beaches if gasoline prices go up. Any Delawarean who commutes to Philadelphia or other long distances to work would be shelling out more of their money for fuel. And higher energy prices mean every Delawarean would be forced to pay more for their electricity or natural gas.

That is why it is vital that we pay attention to what’s happening with energy legislation in D.C. A Cap and Trade carbon regulation plan would increase energy costs considerably, hurting businesses and consumers across the state. Proposed tax increases on domestic energy production would raise gasoline and home heating oil prices.

Being part of Energy Citizens is an important way you can keep track of what’s going on in Washington on energy issues. These aren’t issues that we can just leave up to professional politicians. All of us need to be educated on this topic and being part of Energy Citizens is the easiest way for you to stay informed and have the tools you need to impact the debate.

 

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Political uproar over Gulf spill could impact Alaskan energy industry

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Categorized in: Alaska, Domestic Oil

Politically driven policy decisions in Washington could make it more difficult for Alaska oil and natural gas companies to continue supplying the nation with domestically produced energy.

The tragic Gulf spill – and the opportunity it has presented to opponents of domestic oil and natural gas production – could not have come at a worse time for Alaska. Shell Oil had planned to start exploring reserves in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas this summer, an area with almost limitless potential.

 But some Beltway politicians want to use the spill as a catalyst for harsh restrictions on offshore drilling, even though the vast majority of U.S. offshore operations have a remarkably clean safety record.

 Altogether, the Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, and North Aleutian Basin are thought to hold as much as 65.8 billion barrels of oil and 305 trillion cubic feet of gas. Shell estimates that – in addition to considerably lessening our nation’s dependence on foreign energy suppliers – tapping these reserves could generate an annual average of 35,000 jobs for the next 50 years. That would mean a total payroll of $72 billion and almost $6 billion in direct petroleum revenues to state and local governments.

 This is tragically typical of strategies supported by people who don’t know the oil industry the way Alaskans do. They don’t make the connection between the intelligent use of domestic energy reserves and America’s ability to safeguard its economic competitiveness and national security. They don’t understand how hard we work to utilize those resources with the utmost respect for the environment and the safety of everyone involved.

 Alaskan Energy Citizens need to help other Americans better understand how it’s possible to achieve a win-win balance between energy development and the environment.

 

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Why We Need Oil and Natural Gas

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Categorized in: National, Natural Gas

People on all sides of the political spectrum acknowledge that energy is vital to our nation and the world. Once you acknowledge this fact, you cannot deny the importance of oil and natural gas.

The nonpartisan but left-leaning Energy Future Coalition (EFC) acknowledges the central place of energy in our lives: “Energy is the linchpin of our economy. We use energy to power our factories, refrigerate our medicines, light our schools, and transport our food.”

The EFC supports what is arguably an unrealistic goal of seeing the U.S. produce 25% of our energy from renewable and alternative sources by 2025-the so-called “25 by 25 vision.” Even with this optimistic estimate, EFC suggests that 75% of our nation’s energy will still come from other sources. What are those other sources? Oil, natural gas, and coal.

In other words, even though we are increasing the use of renewables, our energy future for decades to come includes traditional energy sources.

Natural gas especially stands out as a promising source for domestic energy. Improved technologies enable us to access natural gas safely with minimal environmental impact. A recent study finds that Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale is particularly promising for natural gas production. And clean-burning natural gas will be the source of energy for 90% of new power plants coming on line over the next several years.

The bottom line: our nation’s energy policies must take into account that natural gas and oil matter.

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