It’s Time to Fix the Renewable Fuel Standard

Categorized in: Colorado, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, National, New England, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, RFS, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was supposedly created to help address environmental concerns. However its negative impacts on the American people and its unrealistic mandates produce more damaging effects than benefits.

Damaging Cars: Ethanol blends of more than 10% potentially could damage millions of vehicles and void engine warranties. Many cars, especially ones created before this mandate weren’t designed to accommodate ethanol blends, especially ones over 10%.

Increased Food Cost: The RFS ultimately takes away crops that would normally be used for food. This can cause the price of food and consumer goods to increase.

Hurting Small Business: An ethanol mandate can lead to overhead and delivery cost increases. This would cause a negative chain reaction leaving less money to be reinvested, resulting in small businesses struggling to find the funds to make new hires or even meet payrolls.

The RFS biofuel mandates are causing more harm than good and it needs to be fixed!

The Strong Safety Record of Pipelines

Categorized in: Colorado, Infrastructure, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, National, New England, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Pipelines have been in the news a lot lately. While activists trying to shut down new pipeline projects make wild claims about their safety, the scientific facts prove the opposite.

  • To prevent leaks, state-of-the-art technology similar to a doctor’s ultrasound machine or MRI is used on the inside of the pipe to scan the walls for any potential problems. In 2012 alone, $2.1 billion was spent by liquid pipeline operators to evaluate, inspect and maintain their pipelines.
  • Liquid pipeline incidents are down 50% since 1999.
  • Corrosion as a cause of pipeline incidents is down 76% since 1999.

Lawmakers and regulators should not be misled by false claims about pipelines. The industry’s commitment to safety through best practices and with the use of modern technology allows companies to ensure that pipelines deliver energy products safely 99.99% of the time. They are also needed to ensure that consumers have access to clean, affordable energy in the years to come. In the debate over expanding our energy infrastructure and greater natural gas use, it’s vital that we keep politics aside and instead focus on the long-term benefits for our country that take the form of lower energy prices, greater job creation, and environmental benefits.

Fix the Renewable Fuel Standard

Categorized in: Colorado, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, National, New England, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, RFS, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin

The Houston Chronicle 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.


Brought to You by Fracking

Categorized in: Colorado, Hydraulic Fracturing, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, National, New England, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Energy Citizens should take a minute to check out the blog over at the Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy. There is a great post that discusses the importance of fracking to our everyday lives:

America is at an energy crossroads. The fracking-enabled shale revolution is rapidly transforming the nation’s energy landscape, lowering prices for consumers and dramatically reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

Energy is everywhere, and if you stop for a moment to look around you, chances are you will see countless goods and services that are “Brought To You By Fracking.” We’re not just talking about gasoline for your car and electricity for your house—everything from health care and housing to hamburgers and hula hoops are impacted by the price and availability of energy, and oil and natural gas in particular. As a result, the practical impact if the “keep it in the ground” movement succeeds would hurt every American’s quality of life.

The blog goes on to discuss some of the things that are made possible by fracking – air travel, gasoline, air conditioning, and electricity. We may not realize just how important fracking is to our daily lives, but its influence is enormous.

We can’t let anti-energy activists succeed in their war on fracking. We have to speak out in defense of this safe, time-tested practice. The American energy revolution would not exist without it.

Understanding Infrastructure

Categorized in: Colorado, Infrastructure, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, National, New England, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin

If we don’t understand how oil and natural gas get from the wellhead to the consumers or commercial users, we don’t understand energy. Energy infrastructure – pipelines, roads, bridges, rail lines, processing plants, storage facilities, etc. – enables us to maintain and even grow the lifestyle that we have today. Today, we need to devote just as much time to learning about – and advocating for – energy infrastructure as we do to fracking, offshore resource access, or any of the other major issues that surround U.S. energy security.

To most of us, pipelines are the first thing we imagine when we hear about energy infrastructure. They are critically important to moving both domestically produced and imported fuels that we use every day, and they are essential to transporting the oil and gas by-products that feed the U.S. manufacturing industry. In fact, our country has a robust network of energy pipelines that moves 14 billion barrels of crude oil, among other oil and gas-related products.

But don’t forget that rail cars move oil and liquefied natural gas too. So do trucks. And the processing facilities that prepare natural gas to be used and storage tanks that hold it in reserve for those winter days when we need more energy are all critical oil and gas infrastructure components as well.

Energy infrastructure is a big issue and an important one. This factsheet – Energy Infrastructure 101 – is a good place to start finding out about infrastructure and understanding why it is so important to our nation.


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.

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.

LNG Exports Will Benefit Texas—and the World

Categorized in: LNG, Texas

Texas natural gas clearly delivers many benefits to our state—and our nation. It helps keep heating and electricity costs down, and the increased use of natural gas is lowering U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Natural gas development also supports tens of thousands of jobs in the state.

Now we have a chance to add jobs, grow our economy, and help our allies around the world—all by exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG).

According to recent studies, if the U.S. moves forward with a robust LNG export program, as many as 155,000 Texas jobs could be created by 2035. All told, LNG exports would contribute more than $31 billion to the state’s economy—and bring new public revenues to Austin and our communities.

In addition, exporting LNG will lower our nation’s trade deficit and enable us to help friendly nations. Many countries around the world, without their own natural gas resources, want access to American natural gas. Our European allies especially do not want to be dependent on hostile or unstable nations, such as Russia, for natural gas supplies.

At the end of 2015, Congress lifted a decades-old ban on oil exports, but more must be done to support LNG exports. Congress needs to pass legislation that sets hard deadlines for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to review and process permits. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says that the DOE can work faster if mandated to do so.

The next administration will have the opportunity to lead on this issue. We encourage you to reach out to your legislators, ask where they stand on LNG exports, and let them know that energy issues matter to you.

Let’s Talk Energy Infrastructure

Categorized in: Infrastructure, Texas

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 Texas. 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.

Texas’ energy future depends on new infrastructure projects. Our state is the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the country. If we can’t transport the resources produced here, then our economy could suffer. Expanding pipeline capacity and improving other infrastructure is a vital way to help keep Texas’ economy thriving.

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 Texas and our nation.

Texas Could Benefit from LNG Exports

Categorized in: LNG, Texas

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.

Of the 25-plus applications to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to export natural gas, more than half have been awaiting approval since 2014 or earlier. There is no reasonable excuse for such delays.

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. job creation.
  • Contributions to American economic growth.
  • Support for strategic alliances abroad.

As the nation’s leading producer of natural gas, Texas has the most to gain if our nation streamlines and accelerates LNG exports. More than 155,000 jobs could be created  over the next two decades if our nation expands LNG exports—with the support of a more sensible regulatory framework.

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 Texas Energy Citizens to raise their voices on this issue when the opportunity arises.