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.”

Native American Tribe Benefits Greatly from Dakota Access Pipeline Revenues

This past week, FOX Business published a piece outlining the vehement support of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, also known as MHA Nation or the Three Affiliated Tribes, for the Dakota Access pipeline. The tribe’s chairman, Mark Fox, asserts that the Native American group would suffer detrimentally if DAPL were to shut down.

The MHA Nation acknowledges and appreciates the true economic, social, qualitative benefits of having access to the Dakota Access Pipeline. In the late 2000s, MHA Nation joined in on the state’s oil boom because of the overwhelming economic benefits. Now, MHA Nation brings in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from those oil resources contingent on DAPL’s operation.

“We’re a tribe that was recognized as an aboriginal trade center for thousands of years, so economic development, capitalism, we’re not strangers to that,” MHA Nation Chairman Mark Fox told FOX Business. “For thousands of years, we traded and established an economy with other tribes.”

In 2020, 60% of MHA Nation’s oil traveled through the Dakota Access Pipeline. Schools, justice centers, drug rehab centers, and other community facilities have all been built off the revenue from this pipeline’s success.

“If there was going to be a complete shutdown of DAPL, there was going to be a tremendous effect,” Fox said. That’s why MHA Nation weighed in on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s case against the pipeline earlier this year. The article reads:

“In an April declaration in D.C. District Court, MHA Nation estimated that a DAPL shutdown would cost the tribe $160 million over one year and $250 million if a shutdown lasted two years. Further, the MHA Nation declaration said it would expect an additional five traffic deaths among its members per year if the pipeline were shut down due to increased need for trains and trucks to move its oil.”

Contrary to Standing Rock’s protesting tactics and messaging, the Dakota Access Pipeline is bringing prosperity and unrivaled benefit to many Native American communities across North Dakota. The value oil and gas energy infrastructure funnels into the region is impossible to miss.

EIA forecasts U.S. natural gas production will establish a new monthly record high in 2022

The U.S. Energy Information Administration last week reported that U.S. dry natural gas production will increase from 95.1 Bcf/d in October 2021 to 97.5 Bcf/d by December 2022, a new record high.

The EIA reports:

Our forecast for U.S. natural gas production growth includes expected output from natural gas-directed drilling activity as well as natural gas production associated with crude oil production (associated gas). In both the Haynesville region (mainly in Texas and Louisiana) and the Appalachia Basin (mainly in Pennsylvania and West Virginia), increased drilling activity and greater output per well have led to more natural gas production in recent months, according to metrics compiled in our Drilling Productivity Report. Associated natural gas production has also increased as producers have completed wells that were previously drilled but uncompleted (DUC wells).

Increased U.S. natural gas production is key to providing reliable, affordable, and cleaner-burning energy to American families. While increased production is a boon for the U.S. economy, the U.S. must also welcome investment in critical energy infrastructure to safely and efficiently deliver natural gas and other energy resources to consumer markets and export facilities.

Caruso in RealClear Energy: Biden’s faulty policies looking all too familiar

Last week, RealClear Energy published an op-ed by Guy Caruso, former U.S. EIA Administrator, comparing the Biden administration’s energy policies to the failing policies of Jimmy Carter. Caruso asserted that high energy prices will be here for the foreseeable future because of faulty energy infrastructure decisions from the White House.

The faulty logic of the White House was in full force display when President Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, stated, “Our view is that the rise in gas prices over the long term makes an even stronger case for doubling down our investment and our focus on clean energy options, so that we are not relying on the fluctuations and OPEC.”

The White House has embraced high gasoline prices to further their environmental agenda “never mind the short term financial burden this places on working families, or the long term consequences to our nation’s economy, to include rising inflation,” Caruso writes.

Yet, in opposition to what Psaki asserted, Caruso calls on the true issue at hand—the need for critical energy development and infrastructure investment here in the US. Caruso argued:

“The nation must be prepared to satisfy that demand; otherwise, Americans will continue experiencing pain at the pump and higher home heating bills… The increased production and export of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) is key to bolstering American national security, energy independence, and our foreign policy interests at home and abroad. Providing reliable, affordable fuels to our allies around the globe supports energy diversification, reduces carbon emissions, and strengthens the U.S. position in international affairs.”

At the end of his piece, Caruso highlights some of the energy latest industry innovations and technological advancements and how companies are working together to meet rising energy demand while also reducing costs and lowering carbon emissions.

US EIA: U.S. liquefied natural gas export capacity will be world’s largest by end of 2022

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) today projected the U.S. will have the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) export capacity by the end of 2022 – a major accomplishment for U.S. energy security, American diplomacy, and the global economy.

EIA reports U.S. LNG export capacity has grown rapidly since the Lower 48 states first began exporting LNG in February 2016. In 2020, the United States became the world’s third-largest LNG exporter, behind Australia and Qatar. The completion of new LNG liquefaction trains next year at Sabine Pass and Calcasieu Pass in Louisiana will secure the U.S.’ position as the leading LNG exporter.

From the EIA:

The following new LNG export capacity additions will come online by the end of 2022, according to announced project plans:

  • Train 6 at the Sabine Pass LNG export facility. Train 6 will add up to 0.76 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of peak export capacity. Train 6 began producing LNG in late November; the first export cargo from this train is expected to be shipped before the end of 2021.
  • Calcasieu Pass LNG. This new export facility has 18 liquefaction trains with a combined peak capacity of 12 million metric tons per annum (1.6 Bcf/d). Commissioning activities at Calcasieu Pass LNG started in November 2021; the first LNG production is expected before the end of this year. All liquefaction trains are expected to be operational by the end of 2022.

The nameplate, or nominal, capacity of a liquefaction facility specifies the amount of LNG produced in a calendar year under normal operating conditions, based on the engineering design of a facility. Peak LNG production capacity is the amount of LNG produced under optimal operating conditions, including modifications to production processes that increase operational efficiency.

Biden can’t seem to make up his mind, Yes or No to Oil and Gas

This past week, the Washington Times published an editorial by Patrice Douglas, who pushed back on the false narrative that fossil fuels are no longer a vital component of the United States’ energy portfolio in the midst of the Biden administration’s climate agenda.

Even the president is starting to acknowledge the importance of oil and gas in the largest energy transition of the century. Douglas wrote:

“In pushing the President’s climate agenda, the White House and its allies on Capitol Hill have frequently painted a rosy outlook of a future supplied entirely by ‘clean’ energy. However, even Mr. Biden seems to understand that transition is dependent on traditional energy resources, namely oil and natural gas. During the U.N. global climate summit, the President rightly said: ‘The idea we’re going to be able to move to renewable energy overnight [is] just not rational.’”

So why is the current administration still taking hits at the oil and gas industry? Whether it is banning federal leasing or heightening taxes in an already over-taxed sector, President Biden’s actions aren’t matching up with his statement above. The White House’s actions are all over the map and inconsistent, with the headlines seeking to please the far left. Douglas wrote, “The White House’s agenda seems to be more consumed with appeasing far-left environmental activists than advancing an energy strategy that will get us to carbon neutrality.”

Biden’s failing energy policies are leaving Americans with skyrocketing heating bills and gas prices this winter season (not to mention the excessive inflation issue on top of that), while also taking away jobs and opportunities for those in the oil and gas field. If we’re going to transition to a cleaner energy landscape moving forward, oil and gas must be prioritized and supported or else more factors like this will fall.

Douglas ends the editorial with this key passage:

“Mr. Biden deserves credit for his vision to create a cleaner energy future, and even more so for his apparent recognition that fossil fuels are critical to achieving it. However, he needs to build the political courage to stand up to activists and members of his party who are more concerned with punishing fossil fuel producers than stopping climate change. U.S. oil and gas are critical to our clean energy transition. Continually putting up roadblocks to their success won’t accelerate our progress to carbon neutrality — it will only deter it.”

A world without fossil fuels is a world without prosperity

This past Sunday, the Dallas Morning News published an editorial from Bill Godsey, owner and president of Geo Logic Environmental Services and a former geologist for the Texas Railroad Commission. Godsey wrote on the unrealistic, illogical topic of fossil fuel elimination and how environmental protestors-turned-terrorists have gone too far. 

The People vs. Fossil Fuels Mobilization event that occurred in Washington, D.C., in October quickly escalated to violent events. After causing scenes at both the White House and the United States Capitol Building, protestors even forced their way into the U.S. Department of Interior Building. 

In the chaos, security personnel were injured and at least one law enforcement officer was sent to the hospital from violent actors fighting to get into the department. This was all in the name of ending fracking, banning fossil fuel exports, fighting against fossil fuel infrastructure projects, declaring a climate emergency, and supporting the overall phaseout of fossil fuels. As Godsey wrote, however, “The activists, however, have a myopic view of a world without oil and natural gas that neglects to factor in just how critical these resources are to a functioning society.”

Godsey then turns to the sheer importance of fossil fuels in our society and the reasoning as to why a world without fossil fuels is unrealistic and, frankly, ludacris. Godsey asserts: 

“More than 6,000 products we use daily are either refined, manufactured or both with oil and natural gas liquids, including electronics, cosmetics, paint and even medicine. As we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, it is worth noting that the emergency room treating those patients, and others, contains an estimated 90 products derived from fossil fuels. It becomes much more difficult, if not impossible, to provide lifesaving care without IV tubes, monitors, ventilators and basic supplies like face mask, gloves and soap.”

If the environmentalists were to receive what they’re desiring, the world in front of them would look a lot less rosy than they presume. In his closing remarks, Godsey draws attention to the necessity of reliable, domestic infrastructure like the Dakota Access Pipeline for America’s prosperity: 

“Pipelines like Dakota Access are crucial to maintaining the nation’s energy independence and are the safest, most efficient and environmentally friendly method of delivering the energy resources that are not only the basis of essential — and lifesaving — products, but also enable Americans to heat their homes, cook dinner and drive to work. Americans on the East Coast got a taste of life without pipelines when the Colonial cyberattack occurred earlier this year, and it wasn’t pretty. Now imagine the impact on the entire nation if there were no pipelines at all.” 

GAIN Coalition Hosts Virtual Panel Discussing Critical Energy Topics, Sen. Kevin Cramer Gives Remarks

This past week, leaders from the Grow America’s Infrastructure Now Coalition met virtually with U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and other energy and economic experts from across the state. Topics included the Biden administration’s failing energy policies, domestic oil & gas production, the need for increased energy infrastructure, American energy independence, and much more. 

The virtual panel began with remarks from Sen. Cramer, who shared his concerns about the federal government worsening inflation and threatening U.S. energy independence through Biden’s anti-energy policies. Talking about Biden’s call to OPEC to increase production and support the Russian pipeline Nord Stream 2, Sen. Kevin Cramer clearly stated:

“It’s bad for our economy, bad for our security, and bad for our environment.”

Sen. Cramer continued on to vocalize his support for the Dakota Access Pipeline and other energy infrastructure development. When asked about ongoing court cases involving the Dakota Access Pipeline, the senator said that investors in the Bakken should feel comfortable about the pipeline’s progress. In conclusion, Sen. Cramer asserted that fossil fuels will remain useful in years to come as our nation seeks to gain back our energy independence. 

In the next portion of the virtual GAIN panel, industry experts Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council; Arik Spencer, president and CEO of the Greater North Dakota Chamber; and Ret. Army Major Gen. Spider Marks answered questions moderated by GAIN spokesman Craig Stevens. 

“I think there is no question that the greatest threat to our nation’s energy today is when you wake up every day and the federal government, in all of their actions and steps, want to tax you, want to shut you down, and want to limit your access to capital,” said Ron Ness, North Dakota Petroleum Council president.

The conversation went on to cover topics such as carbon capture projects, North Dakota oil and gas projects, and how the state’s energy sector supports U.S. national security. Gen. Marks asserted that the Biden administration should focus on minimizing vulnerabilities by strengthening U.S. energy capabilities: 

“We’ve learned through the COVID pandemic that we are a very connected, interconnected, interdependent world, almost to a degree of risk,” said Marks. “We have to moderate that risk, we’ve got to be able to maintain our independence.”

Throughout the panel, the reasoning and talking points of each distinguished guest came back to one common consensus: America needs more energy infrastructure and continued development of our natural resources.

Female pipeliner had career swept from underneath her by Biden’s energy policies

Today, FOX Business published an opinion piece by Jamie Landis, a newly-retired welder’s helper for Pipeliners Local Union 798 who worked in the industry from 1986 until 2021. Landis, based in Bald Knob, Arkansas, recently retired after 35 years due to President Biden’s detrimental energy policies.

Working in and around the oil and gas pipeline industry was second-nature for Landis, seeing that her husband and son have worked on pipelines all of their lives as well. In a sphere that is predominantly male-driven, Landis paved her way as a leading female in the field as one of the first women to join the Pipeliners Local Union 798.

After more than three decades of building our nation’s energy infrastructure, she is proud of the important progress that our country made in regards to energy independence, affordability, and increasing access to American natural resources. That was until the Biden Administration’s policies began to undermine American energy development, putting Landis and thousands of other pipeliners out of a job.  

Landis provides firsthand accounts reflecting on her time in the industry, emphasizing that pipelines are the safest, most efficient method to transport oil and gas and strengthen American energy independence:

“For example, I worked on the Dakota Access Pipeline that stretches 1,172 miles across the Dakotas to Illinois, pumping over 750,000 barrels of oil per day, more than 180,000 barrels compared to earlier this year.

Since we completed the project, DAPL has safely operated for four years. However, fringe activists continue to advocate for its shut down.

Despite the protests and vocal opposition, these groups are in the minority, as evidenced by a recent nationwide poll commissioned by the GAIN Coalition and performed by co/Efficient, which found that 8 out of 10 Americans believe that safely operating pipelines should remain active and in use.”

Landis concludes with this key passage:

“The United States has the necessary resources to be energy secure rather than being dependent on international suppliers. However, in order to change our current alarming trajectory, policymakers should prioritize our nation and its workers like my family, who are determined to continue building the necessary infrastructure to deliver reliable and affordable energy to the American people.”