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Boaters worried about ethanol spoiling summer fun

Categorized in: Illinois, RFS

Farm and Dairy published a good article on the potential harmful effects high ethanol content fuel can have on boat engines. High ethanol can cause problems for boaters lists Illinois as one of 23 states where E15 (15 percent ethanol gasoline) is sold.

What’s wrong with E15? Here’s what Farm and Dairy reported, based on information provided by the Boat Owners Association of the United States:

E15 has been proven to damage boat engines and so it is prohibited in marine engines. It is also illegal to use E15 in snowmobiles, motorcycles, small engines like lawn mowers and leaf blowers, as well as any car or light-truck made before 2001.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is responsible for the rise in E15 fuel, as this shortsighted government mandate continues to force more ethanol into our fuel supply than our vehicles and small engine tools can tolerate.

Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to fix the RFS. Contact your member of the Illinois congressional delegation and make it clear you want to see HR 5180, the Food and Fuel Consumer Protection Act of 2016, approved.


Fixing the Ethanol Mandate

Categorized in: Florida, RFS

There are many Floridians who do not like the Renewable Fuel Standard. They know the ethanol mandate can be detrimental to consumers, drivers, and the environment. That is why it’s good to see a bipartisan group in Congress supporting legislation that would fix some of the problems with this misguided law.

HR 5180, Food and Fuel Consumer Protection Act, would cap the amount of ethanol that must be blended into our fuel. This will prevent the forced introduction of E15, or gasoline that contains 15% ethanol. There is no consumer demand for E15, since it could cause significant problems with many motors.

There are three members of the Florida congressional delegation who have cosponsored this bill: Rep. Bill Posey, Rep. Gus Bilirakis, and Rep. Lois Frankel. Florida’s members of Congress need to hear from you that you support fixing the ethanol mandate. Have you called your representative yet?

Study Debunks Fracking Fears

Categorized in: Hydraulic Fracturing, National

It’s getting more and more difficult for anti-energy activists to claim that fracking harms water quality. A recent study from Ohio looks at the link between fracking and water contamination and it found no evidence to blame fracking for methane in water there:

A three-year study by the University of Cincinnati has determined that natural gas drilling has had no effect on the quality of water coming from wells in Carroll County. 

The study looked at water quality in five counties – Carroll, Columbiana, Stark, Harrison and Belmont – with a focus on Carroll County, which has been the epicenter of the Utica Shale boom in eastern Ohio…

“The good news is that our study did not document that fracking was directly linked to water contamination,” said Dr. Amy Townsend-Small of the University of Cincinatti, who presented the findings at a meeting of Carroll Concerned Citizens. 

While methane was found in the water, researchers confirmed that it was from underground coal seams, not natural gas drilling.

These findings should come as no surprise. Abundant evidence indicates that fracking is not a threat to groundwater quality.

It would be nice to think that this study (and the others which demonstrate fracking’s safety) will persuade opponents of this process to change their minds. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen. However, this study is important because it can help convince policymakers not to give into the misinformation that anti-fracking extremists so often peddle.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

Pennsylvania Needs the Mariner East II

Categorized in: Infrastructure, Natural Gas, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is at the center of the energy renaissance. Our commonwealth has become a leader in the American production of natural gas. Now it’s time for us to invest in the infrastructure to keep this renaissance going. That means supporting new pipelines across Pennsylvania.

Mike Butler, executive director of Consumer Energy Alliance Mid-Atlantic, wrote a very compelling letter to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about how a proposed pipeline project will benefit our state:

By permitting the Mariner East II project, Pennsylvania will see an influx of private investment, tax dollars and much-needed job creation. It represents a $3 billion investment in Pennsylvania’s economy, creating more than 30,000 jobs during construction and up to 400 permanently upon operation.

Access to affordable, reliable natural gas means lower energy costs for families, more opportunity for businesses and valuable raw materials for farmers, construction, cars and other products made locally. Because of this, homeowners, retirees, businesses and those living on fixed incomes will enjoy lower utility prices.

Anti-energy activists have made stopping the Mariner East II project one of their highest goals. If they succeed, it will bolster their efforts to shut down oil and gas production here. Energy Citizens need to make every effort to support this important pipeline. It’s a vital project for our commonwealth’s energy future.

The New England reality is a need for natural gas

Categorized in: Infrastructure, Natural Gas, New England

Protestors are out to block another liquefied natural gas project – this time two new storage tanks in Somerset, MA – but the Fall River Herald News is not backing their plan. In the op-ed piece, Our View: A new LNG proposal floated in Somerset, they encourage the anti-LNG crowd to wake up and smell the coffee:

The reality is that the region’s energy supply is insufficient for its needs and natural gas from the shale fields of Pennsylvania is inexpensive and plentiful. Meanwhile, Somerset’s Brayton Point Power Station — the town’s largest taxpayer and New England’s largest electricity producer — is expected to close in 2017.

The Herald News editors go on to point out that Somerset officials – reasonably so – see this proposal as “a golden opportunity to revive the energy industry, which has long been the key part of the town’s tax base, and recoup some of its revenue losses coming from the closure of the town’s power plants.”

Things are no different in other New England communities. The entire region needs the natural gas that pipelines can provide and the economic boost they can generate in local towns. Energy Citizens in all New England states should join with the Herald News in speaking out for infrastructure projects.