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Energy and opportunity

Dec 7, 2011

The United States, an energy powerhouse -- if bad policies and regulations do not prevent development of our vast resources. A news round-up:

Bloomberg, "Shale-Gas Drilling to Add 870,000 U.S. Jobs by 2015, Report Says": "Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Producing natural gas from shale will support 870,000 U.S. jobs and add $118 billion to economic growth in the next four years, according to a report from IHS Global Insight." America's Natural Gas Alliance released the report, "Economic and Employment Contributions of Shale Gas in the United States," on Tuesday, calling it "the most definitive study to date tracking the long-term economic impact of U.S. shale gas production." (See ANGA blog post.)

Institute for Energy Research, news release, "BREAKING NEWS: The Report the White House Doesn’t Want You To Read": "WASHINGTON D.C. — The Institute for Energy Research released today a groundbreaking North American Energy Inventory exposing the decades-long myth that the U.S. is running out of coal, oil, and natural gas because of inadequate domestic supplies. As a part of IER’s year long “Energy for America” campaign, the report details the vast energy resources that could power the nation’s future, if not for government policy that stands in the way." Among the many findings: "When combined with resources from Canada and Mexico, the total recoverable oil in North America exceeds 1.7 trillion barrels. That’s more than the entire world has used in 150 years, and sufficient to fuel the present needs in the United States for the next 250 years." The full report and background materials are here. And to be fair, we haven't received any White House warnings against reading the thing.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada meets with President Obama today in the White House. While trade and border security are on the formal agenda, you'd have to think the President's decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline permitting will also be discussed. The Canadian Press reports, "Pipeline drama ongoing in D.C. as Obama, Harper meet to announce border deal." Meanwhile, plans are afoot to send Alberta oil to the Asian markets, as The National Post reports on the Enbridge company's proposed pipeline: "Canada's chief executive of the year, though he is backed by one of the most powerful and determined Canadian prime ministers in generations, faces enormous hurdles at the grassroots level as he pushes his company's $5.5-billion pipeline linking Alberta's oil sands resource to energy-hungry Asian markets via B.C.'s pristine coast." Pristine -- the most misused word in environmental reporting.

House Republicans are trying to force through approval of the Keystone pipeline legislatively, as The Hill summarizes, "The week ahead: Keystone pipeline, EPA rules in focus."

On the discouraging side, The Wall Street Journal's editorial page covers a much underreported story, that the EPA's regulatory march is seriously undermining the reliability of electricity supply. From "If the Lights Go Out:Regulators are letting EPA compromise U.S. electric reliability": "[Despite] warnings from expert after expert, including some of its own, the FERC Commissioners refuse to do anything about this looming threat to electric reliability. The latest body to sound the EPA alarm is the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), which last Tuesday released its exhaustive annual 10-year projections. 'Environmental regulations are shown to be the number one risk to reliability over the next one to five years,' the report explains." The NERC's report is "2011 Long-Term Reliability Assessment."

Let's end with some good news on the energy front, via Reuters, "Pipeline deal could open up Alaskan oil reserve": "(Reuters) - Two U.S. agencies have reached an agreement with ConocoPhillips on a plan in Alaska that could let the company be the first to drill for crude and gas in a national oil reserve in the state, the Interior Department said on Monday."


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