Legislation was proposed on Wednesday that would ban offshore drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf located off of Washington state, Oregon and California. The bill, proposed by a group of Democratic senators, would not affect current leases in federal waters or activity already allowed in state waters.
Removing the ban on crude oil exports could help the economy while benefiting foreign policy, according to Emma Ashford. "Authoritarian regimes would no longer be able to cite Washington’s reluctance to open its energy markets to free trade as an excuse for their own unfair practices," she writes. Eastern European nations would be able to limit their dependence on Russian oil and gas, she adds. "Congress should seize the opportunity now to lift the ban, and reap the economic and foreign policy benefits so sure to follow," Ashford writes.
Greenhouse gases emitted during the liquefied natural gas life cycle are only about half of the amount produced within the coal life cycle in a number of export markets, according to a Center for Liquefied Natural Gas report. The study showed that a new-build coal plant puts out about 92% more greenhouse gases than LNG scenarios with the highest emissions levels, while average existing coal plants emit about 139% to 148% more greenhouse gases.
White House advisers would recommend a veto of legislation ending the long-standing crude oil export ban, according to a "statement of administration policy" made by the Office of Management and Budget on Wednesday. "Given the benefits for US families and workers, it's hard to imagine why the administration would reject bipartisan efforts to unlock America's potential as an energy superpower even as it pushes for a deal to lift the oil embargo on Iran," said American Petroleum Institute Executive Vice President Louis Finkel.
A project that would expand some of Kinder Morgan's gas pipelines in Georgia may be delayed by one month because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission still hasn't authorized it, according to Mike Varagona, Kinder Morgan's vice president of business development. The $436 million expansion would allow the pipelines to provide gas to a liquefied natural gas export terminal that has been proposed. "Presently, we are awaiting FERC's guidance on the remaining regulatory timeline so that we can better assess a revised in-service date expectation," Varagona said.
Venezuelan crude oil exports to the US were down by 10% during September, totaling 724,230 barrels per day, according to data from Reuters and state-run oil company PDVSA. Meanwhile, sales of diluted crude oil made with naphtha increased from 311,130 barrels per day in August to 348,200 barrels per day in September.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted 127-73 against a revised tax package that would include a new Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction tax. The package, which would also include a personal income tax rate increase, would have ended a state budget impasse that reached 99 days on Wednesday.
Proposed rules were released by Colorado regulators that would allow local governments to have more input on where new oil and gas wells are located. A task force appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper recommended that local governments be granted the opportunity to consult with energy companies on the locations of oil and gas facilities.
The most promising portion of the Monterey Shale in California holds about 21 million barrels of oil accessible through hydraulic fracturing, according to a US Geological Survey report. The report's findings are a downgrade from a 2011 study that estimated the Monterey Shale contained 13.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil. However, the recent report was only based on the San Joaquin Basin, which is one of four basins of the Monterey Shale. Future reports will focus on the remaining three basins.
TransCanada will go to court on Oct. 19 as part of its continuing efforts to gain approval for the Nebraska portion of its Keystone XL pipeline. Last week, the company announced the withdrawal of its eminent domain claims through the proposed route of the pipeline, opting instead to pursue approval from Nebraska's Public Service Commission. "Those who believe continuous delay of this project is some kind of victory couldn't be any further from the truth," said TransCanada spokesman Mark Cooper.
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