Patrice Douglas: Boost American Energy Production to Control High Energy Costs

RealClear Energy recently published an op-ed by GAIN’s Patrice Douglas, an attorney and former chairman of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, regarding domestic energy production and pipeline infrastructure. The piece highlights how the Biden administration’s restrictive energy policies are not effectively addressing the steady rise in gas prices across the country. Gas prices at the pump are averaging more than $4 per gallon as crude oil prices are more than $100 a barrel.

The rising cost of energy has also fueled the steady rise in prices, and it was announced in April that inflation rose 8.3 percent over the last 12 months. Douglas believes the best way to combat these challenges is to increase domestic energy production. 

In her piece, Douglas writes: “Encouraging domestic oil production should become a core tenet to President Biden’s approach. Specifically, the administration should support a more efficient process for permitting pipeline infrastructure, and reverse the current pause on federal leasing. The consequences for not investing in domestic energy production here at home are clear.  But it is not too late to put our country back on the right course to – once again – reach energy independence.”

Our country’s vast network of pipelines are integral to energy and national security, which connect often-remote oil producing areas with storage and refining facilities hundreds of miles away. One pipeline that is undergoing yet another environmental review by the federal government is the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is responsible for transporting over half a million barrels of oil per day. Douglas notes DAPL “is one of the most technologically advanced and safest pipelines ever built. Entirely underground, this pipeline meets or exceeds every state, local and federal safety requirement.”

Further, the piece includes recent polling conducted by GAIN showing Americans support the continued operation of the Dakota Access Pipeline by a five to one margin. The survey also found that a majority of Americans support increasing U.S energy production in light of President Biden’s decision to halt Russian oil imports.

Douglas concludes his piece by writing, “the consequences for not investing in domestic energy production here at home are clear.  But it is not too late to put our country back on the right course to – once again – reach energy independence.” To effectively address rising energy costs, the U.S. needs to continue to invest in domestic energy production and the necessary infrastructure.

Stevens Op-ed: Leadership is Needed to Reach Energy Independence

The Washington Times published an op-ed from GAIN spokesman Craig Stevens in which he discusses the importance of domestic energy production to the American economy. With the sharp spike in gasoline and oil prices due in large part to misguided federal policies, Stevens argues that prices can reverse if President Biden supports safe, responsible oil and gas projects here at home. Domestic energy projects ensure a consistent supply of oil needed to keep our economy running, empower energy independence, and put Americans on the job.

In one excerpt from the piece, he notes:

“Thankfully, the United States has the capacity to make sustainable investments in energy here at home. The U.S. has more untapped oil than any country on earth—about 264 billion barrels worth— that can be leveraged to put downward pressure on future prices in the future. It’s a reasonable approach towards becoming energy independent, and a majority of Americans recognize it’s time we utilize it.”

Instead of restrictive policies that disincentivize energy investments, Stevens offers a series of solutions that would spur production of fossil fuels. Restarting the Keystone XL pipeline, expanding the onshore oil and gas leasing process, and scaling back burdensome regulations would all help reestablish the United States as an energy leader. These actions would help deliver energy independence and as he notes, “everything we need is right beneath our feet—it’s time we tap into it.”

Further, Stevens makes note of the importance of pipeline infrastructure as a crucial component in order to meet our energy needs. Pipelines are the safest and most efficient method of transportation for crude oil and natural gas. These projects help connect often remote energy producing areas with storage and refining facilities many miles away. On pipeline infrastructure, Stevens writes:

“To tap into American energy, President Biden should prioritize domestic development and pipeline projects. Our vast pipeline network connects oil patches with refiners and other manufacturers across the country, helping fuel the American economy. Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation show pipelines are the safest way to transport energy.”

Stevens also highlights the many benefits of infrastructure projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline and why it benefits the economy and hardworking American workers. This pipeline, which is currently undergoing review by the Army Corps of Engineers and an updated Environmental Impact Statement is expected in the weeks ahead. The op-ed also highlights recent GAIN poll numbers showing that 83 percent of North Dakotans support keeping the pipeline operational.

Former KXL, DAPL Worker Shares Perspective on the Importance of Pipelines

This week, Fox Business published an op-ed by Jason Jernigan, a pipeline worker from Arkansas who lost his job when President Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline. Jernigan offers a unique perspective from the labor community on how short-sighted political decisions in Washington can impact the livelihood of workers and their families. His piece notes that gas prices have risen dramatically under the Biden administration, which is partially due to the President’s hostility towards the oil and gas sector and Russia’s unprovoked invasion into Ukraine.

One way to increase the supply of oil, as Jernigan argues, is for President Biden to reconsider his shortsighted decision on Keystone XL, which would have transported nearly 1 million barrels of Canadian oil daily into the United States. He also discusses his personal involvement in the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and how he can “attest to its safety and technical standards.” The project transports hundreds of thousands of barrels from North Dakota on through Illinois, but the Biden administration is currently reviewing whether to keep it operational.

Jernigan notes the national importance of pipelines and how the DAPL specifically is popular with the American people. The piece highlights recent GAIN poll numbers showing that 86% of Americans agreed that we should continue to work towards energy independence. “North Dakotans were asked whether the DAPL plays a significant role in North Dakota’s economy, and 85% said it does and nearly the same number said DAPL should remain operational.”

President Biden should support both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, as they ensure a consistent supply of oil needed to keep our economy running, empower energy independence, and put Americans on the job. As a candidate, Joe Biden campaigned on accomplishing all of those promises, but Jernigan isn’t so sure that Biden holds the same level of commitment as President:

 “To replace energy imports from Russia, the Biden administration has turned to nations like Venezuela, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Instead of calling on these countries to boost output, the U.S. should instead invest in our vast energy resources here at home. The safest and most effective way to do this is to support our nation’s great oil and gas infrastructure projects. 

Without delay, the administration should restart construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which I was due to work on last year. According to the EIA, the U.S. imported roughly 672,000 barrels of petroleum – including crude oil, hydrocarbon gas liquids, biofuels, and refined products such as gasoline and diesel fuel – per day from Russia in 2021.

Had the Biden administration not canceled the project on Day One, the Keystone XL pipeline would be on its way to importing an additional 900,000 barrels per day, and thousands of pipeline workers like myself would still be employed.”

He concludes his piece by urging President Biden to reconsider his position on pipelines and fully embrace American energy security. No matter how long it takes, Jernigan and thousands of pipeline workers just like him are ready to work at a moment’s notice, but the Biden administration needs to let them.

Support Domestic Oil and Gas Production to End Foreign Energy Reliance

The Dallas Morning News published an op-ed this week by former Energy Information Administration administrator Guy Caruso on the pressing need to strengthen American energy production. Caruso asserts that in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine, there is a compelling security need to end our reliance on energy from hostile foreign governments. He says long overdue policy goal can be achieved by “supporting safe, responsible oil and gas projects” here at home.

His piece questions the White House’s solution to askforeign countries like Iran, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia, to ramp up oil production as a means to fill our country’s energy needs. This is not the best path forward to becoming energy independent, as Caruso states “leaving the Russian market just to turn to other adversaries around the globe is not how the United States can end its reliance on foreign energy.”

Instead, Caruso offers a series of proposals to address the current energy crisis, such as approving permits for pipelines and other projects, cutting bureaucratic red tape, renewing offshore lease sales, and building the Keystone XL Pipeline. He also makes an excellent case for keeping the Dakota Access Pipeline operational, which is currently undergoing review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as it safely delivers reliable energy to consumers around the country. Taking these steps, according to him, is a real way to “tap into America’s energy potential.”

Caruso’s piece makes a strong argument that ending our dependence on foreign nations for energy begins with relying on domestic energy production and infrastructure in America. Tapping into domestic oil and gas will ensure the United States is in a position of strength for years to come.

Americans Support Ban on Russian Oil and Increase in Domestic Production

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has exposed much of the West’s reliance on foreign oil produced in hostile nations. Recently, the average US price for a gallon of gasoline surpassed $4, the first time since 2008. In step with other economic sanctions, President Biden announced an Executive Order on March 8th banning the import of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas and coal to the United States.

In a nationwide poll, Americans overwhelmingly supported President Biden’s Executive Order to ban oil imports from Russia. Ninety percent of respondents supported the ban for the time being, while a third of respondents held that the ban should be made permanent.

Similarly in the recent national survey, a majority of Americans, 53 percent, would also support an increase in domestic energy production. Craig Stevens, spokesman for Grow America’s Infrastructure Now and a former senior advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy, said in a press release Tuesday that, “with rising energy prices across the country, and the stark realization that U.S. consumers could end up paying for Russia’s war against Ukraine, Americans want to know that their energy is homegrown, or sourced from allied nations.” Perhaps the best example of domestic energy operation is the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has transported about 570,000 barrels of crude oil daily for more than the past four years. The poll found Americans support the continued use of the pipeline by a 5 to 1 margin. Similarly, statewide support for the Dakota Access Pipeline was overwhelming, 83% to 12%, according to separate a mid-February poll of North Dakota residents.

Essential role of pipelines in U.S. energy security

Tom Magness recently penned an op-ed for Fox Business which highlights the important role oil and gas pipelines play in American energy security. Magness also addresses the Biden Administration’s anti-energy posture has contributed to increased energy prices.

Pipelines have the potential to alleviate much of our energy supply shortages, yet they are repeatedly met with opposition from the Administration and many in congress. Pipeline projects in the U.S. endure a rigorous approval process and regulatory oversight. These safeguards protect both citizens and  the surrounding environment in the areas pipelines are present.  

The Dakota Access Pipeline provides a great example of these protections. In his piece, Magness points out that “Despite the existence of an effective, rigorous regulatory system, pipelines continue to be vilified by a small but vocal group of activists as environmental monstrosities built without regard for local communities and their surrounding ecosystems. This narrative and its consequences are encapsulated by the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), critical oil infrastructure that has operated safely for years, has overwhelming public support, and is already the most studied and regulated pipeline in US history.”

Magness also highlights the critical role the judicial system is now playing in guaranteeing that pipeline infrastructure is able to continue to deliver the much-needed fuels that sustain our economy.  

“Without confidence that our judicial system will uphold the integrity of the regulatory process and dismiss spurious legal challenges, energy companies are now far less likely to invest in similar projects. Besides creating local jobs, generating tax revenue, bolstering the national economy, and ensuring the reliable delivery of energy to consumer markets, pipelines like DAPL reduce our dependence on foreign oil as well as our vulnerability to supply shortages like the current one.”

Magness closes by encouraging the administration to embrace an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy that prioritizes efficient and clean natural gas and contends that in order to effectively combat energy cost inflation, our leaders must not allow well-funded, fringe activists dictate our energy policy.

EIA: 14 U.S. Petroleum Liquids Pipeline Projects were Completed in 2021

Last week, The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) updated their Liquids Pipeline Projects Database, which is an overview of the pipeline projects that have been completed in the U.S. According to the database, there were 14 petroleum liquids pipelines projects completed in 2021.

Of the 14 completed projects:

  • Six projects were new pipelines.
  • Five projects were expansions of existing systems.
  • Two projects reversed the direction that the commodity flowed on the pipeline.
  • One project was a change in the commodity carried by the pipeline.

The EIA identified three of the projects as particularly “notable completions,” one of which is Energy Transfer’s Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) Expansion. Other notable completions include Enbridge’s Line 3 and Line 61, and Marathon Pipe Line’s Capline Reversal project.

The article points out that the DAPL upgrade increases the capacity of barrels per day along the DAPL system by 180,000 barrels. This was made possible by the added horsepower, modifications, and upgrades at pump stations. Running from North Dakota, through South Dakota, Iowa, and ending in Illinois, this pipeline plays a critical role in U.S. energy security and the Midwest’s economy.

Biden’s First Year in Office: Failed Energy Policies that Hurt America

This past week, RealClear Energy published an op-ed by Kevin Mooney titled Revisiting the Keystone XL Pipeline and Joe Biden’s False Promise of ‘Green Jobs.’ Exactly a year after President Biden took office, Mooney analyzes the president’s failing energy decisions that have stifled American energy production.

The Biden Administration didn’t start out on the right foot, cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline within hours of being in the White House. As Mooney points out, the pipeline would have supported thousands of well-paying jobs while lowering energy prices. A year later, Americans find themselves paying extremely high prices at the pumps and on their heating bills this winter.

Of course, Biden is doing this all in the name of “climate change.” But as Mooney asserts, “his arguments don’t hold up under scrutiny.” The Institute for Energy Research, a nonprofit group that supports free market polices, cites figures that show the greenhouse gas emissions that would have resulted from transporting 830,000 barrels per day of Canadian oil would amount to 150 million metric tons per year, which is the equivalent of about 0.3% of the world total. That’s not anywhere close to solving climate change.

All in all, Biden has repeatedly taken hits at American-made energy in his first year of presidency. Mooney ends with this key “passage:

“By restricting domestic energy production, Biden is putting the U.S. in a position where it must rely more on imports at the expense of American consumers. That’s tragic since the U.S. became energy independent in 2019 for the first time in 50 years – meaning U.S. energy exports exceeded U.S. energy imports. That hard earned independence is now in jeopardy as a result of deliberate public policy decisions flowing from the Biden White House that disadvantage American workers and consumers while strengthening America’s strategic adversaries.”

Investment in Energy Infrastructure is Key to Expanding U.S. LNG Capabilities

Texans for Natural Gas recently published a study highlighting the United States’ growing liquefied natural gas production and its benefits. Made possible by the “shale revolution” since 2008, an abundance of natural gas and surging production has turned the U.S. into one of the world’s largest exporters of the fuel just over the past five years (via cargo shipments of LNG).

Centered in Texas, the Gulf of Mexico is currently positioned to help meet the rising global demand for gas. It is absolutely imperative that the U.S. becomes extremely proficient in producing and exporting LNG for both the geopolitical and economic benefit.

Over the past decade, drilling methods and technologies have evolved to be both more effective and “green.” Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies are state-of-the-art methods that can keep the U.S. as a frontrunner in LNG production. As the study reports, U.S. gas output has thereby jumped 75% to nearly 100 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). 

LNG comes with many benefits, one of them being its low-level carbon emission rates:

“When combusted, natural gas emits 50% less CO2 than coal, making the evolution from coal to gas an essential component of the global fight against climate change.”

Overall, the increased domestic production of LNG in the U.S. will help lower the tight grip that Russia and the OPEC nations have had on the world’s global gas market. Creating a regulatory environment that welcomes investment in energy infrastructure – from pipelines to export terminals – is key to ushering in continued growth in the U.S. LNG and broader energy industry.

Scott Hennen Weighs in on North Dakota’s Energy Future

Flag Family Radio host Scott Hennen recently penned an op-ed for InForum that highlighted the realities of North Dakota’s energy production capacity and the benefits that the state’s natural resources can provide if protected and utilized correctly.  However, Hennen points out that the state’s oil industry can be unpredictable. With North Dakota experiencing more extreme weather than other oil-heavy states, it faces its own unique challenges. Given these facts, it is important to prioritize investment and incentives for the state’s industry.

Historically, North Dakota’s oil industry has been financially beneficial on the county, local, and state level. It greatly contributes to the state’s economy, education system, and other public works. Hennen goes on to list some of the recent smart investments, including expanding the capacity of the Dakota Access Pipeline, formation of the Clean Sustainable Energy Authority, investment of Legacy Fund earnings towards new, cutting-edge technologies, and leading efforts in carbon capture and utilization.

Bakken crude oil specifically contains immense amounts of benefits for the state and the U.S. as a whole, as Hennen writes: “If we succeed in making Bakken crude the cleanest barrel of oil in the world, our disadvantage in the marketplace will be greatly reduced. North Dakota agriculture would win big as well. We can’t change the weather here, but we can get every stakeholder active in an effort to find every new advantage possible.”