Energy Infrastructure for Michigan Manufacturing

Categorized in: Infrastructure, Jobs, Michigan, Natural Gas

To grow our economy and maintain our quality of life, we need to ensure that energy supplies can reach us reliably and affordably well into the future. That’s why it’s critical that Michiganders recognize the need for current and expanded energy infrastructure.

Michigan’s Antrim Shale is the source of some of our oil and natural gas, but ultimately we must bring in most of our energy from other areas. We are an intensive user of energy, not only because of our cold winters, but also because of our strong manufacturing sector.

Every business needs power—and for some businesses, the price of energy can be the difference between success and failure. Auto, chemical, glass, and paper manufacturing—all strong industries in Michigan—use a lot of power. For these industries to continue thriving, they need dependable fuel supplies made possible by sufficient energy infrastructure.

In addition, chemical manufacturing depends on natural gas and petroleum products as building blocks. Without adequate energy infrastructure, we could see chemical companies looking at expansion opportunities—out of state.

The elections, as well as post-election discussions, have brought renewed focus on the need to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. This year, we’re likely to see increased federal support for building and improving roads, bridges, airports, and rail. Pipelines and other energy infrastructure should also be on the table.

Energy infrastructure investment will come from the private sector—so no taxpayer dollars will be needed. But for these projects to move forward, we need the support of local, state, and federal officials. The engaged voices of Michigan Energy Citizens can help make it happen.

A Manufacturing Resurgence Thanks to Shale

Categorized in: Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, National, Natural Gas, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, West Virginia

U. S. manufacturing is starting to thrive once again. As University of Michigan economist Mark Perry explains, American shale gas production deserves much of the credit for this great news:

The impact of the shale revolution is profound because the economic growth it continues to produce is not confined to any single region of the U.S. Cheap natural gas is strengthening energy security across the country and is fueling a resurgence in manufacturing – particularly the most energy-intensive industrial products, such as iron and steel, bulk chemicals, petrochemicals, plastics, cement, petroleum refining, glass, paper and food products.

Why is shale gas production so important to manufacturing? It’s because manufacturing is very energy-intensive. With more shale gas being produced here, it has lowered the cost of energy for American manufacturers:

Adjusted for inflation, the cost of electricity to industrial users in the U.S. is lower this year than almost any year in history. Compared to 2008 in the early days of the shale revolution, industrial electricity prices are 17 percent lower today. That’s because virtually every new power plant constructed in recent years has been fueled with natural gas. Gas plants are relatively inexpensive to build, and gas prices are projected to remain low for many decades.

During the election year we heard a lot about creating more American jobs. Let’s make sure to ask the candidates where they stand on natural gas production and the use of natural gas in power generation. If they don’t advocate for pro-energy policies or for allowing markets, not government mandates or incentives to dictate our power generation mix, it’s hard to see how they can be serious about job growth in the U.S. For our economy to continue to grow, we need to make sure that candidates running this year support oil and gas production and the market-driven use of more natural gas to generate electricity.

Let’s Talk Energy Infrastructure

Categorized in: Infrastructure, Michigan

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 Michigan. 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.

Michigan has a lot to gain from new energy infrastructure. Our state can play a bigger role in producing the energy that America needs through the expansion of the infrastructure here. And that’s not all! Michigan consumers need access to clean and affordable energy that is transported through new pipelines and other infrastructure projects.

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 Michigan and our nation.

Michigan Could Benefit from LNG Exports

Categorized in: LNG, Michigan

No one—businesses, consumers, or government—benefits from unreasonable delay and uncertainty. Waiting drives up costs, discourages investment, and creates inefficiencies. If new products, supplies, or services cannot enter the marketplace, competition and its benefits are undermined.

Unfortunately, this is the story of natural gas exports in the United States.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) was first exported in 1959. It is a safe practice and enables U.S. natural gas to reach trading partners around the world. The potential benefits of LNG exports include:

  • U.S. – and Michigan! – job creation.
  • Contributions to American economic growth.
  • Support for strategic alliances abroad.

In addition to producing natural gas in the Antrim shale, Michigan is also home to manufacturers of pipes, equipment, and vehicles used by the energy industry across the nation. If LNG export red tape is cut, Michigan could see the creation of thousands of new jobs in the coming years, and as much as $2 billion added to the state’s economy.

While Congress has moved forward to make positive regulatory changes that will support LNG exports, lawmakers need to finish the job. Before the end of the year, both chambers of Congress must unite to finally pass legislation that will truly make a difference.

Stay tuned. We’ll call on Michigan Energy Citizens to raise their voices on this issue when the opportunity arises.

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

Categorized in: Michigan, Vote4Energy

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

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.


Catching up with the competition on LNG exports

Categorized in: Colorado, Florida, Illinois, LNG, Michigan, National, New England, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin

America’s wealth of natural gas, produced by hydraulic fracturing and other high-tech oil and gas industry innovations, presents us with a tremendous global export opportunity in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market. But as this recent Forbes article – U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas Exports Reach A New Market And Continue To Climb In 2016 – points out, our success in this lucrative economic sector is anything but assured.

Yes, the just completed Panama Canal expansion could help more easily transport U.S. LNG to foreign markets. But we still have to overcome political challenges here at home that hold back crucial approvals of pending export terminal projects. As Forbes puts it:

Yet, our LNG exporters, and those policymakers that critically want to support them, can never relax. The global LNG race is intensifying every day, with market growth booming post-2017, right when our projects are primed to take off. As we have entire groups of Americans ill-advisedly celebrating blocked U.S. LNG export projects (here), more shady suppliers [such as Iran or Russia] are also celebrating the decreased competition from such an attractive supplier like the U.S.

Increasing exports of American-made LNG could create as many as 450,000 new jobs by 2035, according to an ICF International study.  Energy Citizens need to make it clear to our political leaders that we want timely approval on a process that will make those exports – and those jobs – a reality.

Make the Renewable Fuel Standard a campaign talking point

Categorized in: Florida, Illinois, Michigan, National, New England, Ohio, Pennsylvania, RFS, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin

The Houston Chronicle recently ran an editorial that urges the next administration and Congress to take a hard look at what the newspaper calls the “ethanol happy hour.” In Blended fuels: The fuel standard has created unintended consequences and is ripe for overhaul Chronicle editors write that one thing has gone unnoticed – the blend wall:

That figurative barrier is called the blend wall – the threshold beyond which the U.S. gasoline supply contains more than 10 percent ethanol. Oil industry and small government advocates point to the wall in criticizing the Renewable Fuel Standard, a decade-old law requiring an increasing volume of ethanol and other renewable liquids in the nation’s fuel supply.

Automakers say they can’t guarantee that any but a few of their engines will run properly on mixes of less than 90 percent gasoline, and many fuel suppliers say it’s difficult and expensive to comply with the federal mandate.

Renewable Fuel Standard biofuel mandates could cause a lot of problems, among them potential economic harm. Like the Chronicle, Energy Citizens believes the RFS needs to be fixed.


Why the U.S. Needs Expanded LNG Exports

Categorized in: Colorado, Illinois, LNG, Michigan, National, New England, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin

Thanks to hydraulic fracturing, the U.S. is the world leader in natural gas production. If we want to maintain this title, however, we need the right federal energy policies. One of the most important things that Congress could do is overhaul our outdated laws governing liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.

If U.S. natural gas had easier access to international markets, it could be a huge boost to production here. That increased production means more jobs and greater economic growth. An ICF International report on LNG exports concluded that “the net effects on U.S. employment from LNG exports are projected to be positive with average net job growth of 73,100 to 452,300 between 2016 and 2035, including all economic multiplier effects.” That report went on to say, “The net effect on annual U.S. GDP of LNG exports is expected to be positive at about $15.6 to $73.6 billion annually between 2016 and 2035.”

Members of Congress recognize this problem. Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are considering provisions to streamline LNG exports. However, legislation needs to be finalized before Congress adjourns for the year. Energy Citizens need to contact our members of Congress and tell them that we don’t want them to forget about LNG reform.

If Congress fails to act, it could stifle our energy industry and hurt working families across the U.S. We can’t afford to let this happen.

What Congress must do this fall.

Categorized in: Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, National, New England, Ohio, Pennsylvania, RFS, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin

Members of Congress are back to work – let’s make sure they work to fix the ethanol mandate.

Tell Congress to pass H.R. 5180!
Why is it so important to pass H.R. 5180?

  • It will cap the amount of ethanol that can be mixed into our fuel.
  • High ethanol fuel poses a threat to older cars, lawnmowers, chainsaws, and other equipment.
  • If the ethanol mandate isn’t fixed, it could cost consumers a lot in higher food and fuel prices.

While it may seem like no one works across party lines these days, H.R. 5180 has strong bipartisan support. There are many organizations that want to see an end to the problems caused by the Renewable Fuel Standard, and this legislation is the way to accomplish that.

Congress does not have a lot of time to finish work before it adjourns for the year. We need to make sure that they know that you want to focus on fixing the ethanol mandate.

Send a quick e-mail today in support of H.R. 5180!