Posted August 9, 2017
Total up industry’s economic contributions to Pennsylvania – helping to support its schools, first-responders, local infrastructure and jobs, lots of them – and it’s a pretty fair amount. But not fair enough for some. Last month a narrow majority in Pennsylvania’s state Senate voted for a $600 million tax increase that would hit natural gas producers and natural gas and electric users while also hiking taxes on communications services – all of which could significantly impact Pennsylvania consumers.
Posted September 30, 2016
Posted September 19, 2016
Sitting atop the prolific Marcellus and Utica shale plays, Pennsylvania is a natural gas production powerhouse – thanks to modern hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that the two plays provided 85 percent of U.S. shale gas production growth since the start of 2012, reflecting the blossoming production from shale and other tight-rock formations through safe fracking.
Stephanie Catarino Wissman
Posted July 28, 2016
In Pennsylvania, the energy revolution has been very, very good to the commonwealth. Marketed natural gas production, which exceeded 4.5 trillion cubic feet in 2015, more than double output from just three years earlier:
Over the past half-decade, fees paid by industry to the commonwealth have totaled more than a billion dollars. Much of the money stays at the local level and is distributed to the counties and municipalities with the most shale wells. The top beneficiaries for 2015 included Washington County ($5.68 million), Susquehanna County ($5.25 million) and Bradford County ($4.92 million). Even in a down year for the industry, revenue to the commonwealth totaled $187.7 million.
Posted July 22, 2016
Democrats will gather at Wells Fargo Arena in South Philly – nearly 4,500 delegates led by contingents from California (476), New York (277), Florida (238) and Texas (237). As was the case in Cleveland, energy will keep the show running.
Delegates will be glad for modern transportation that gets them to and from the arena, on excursions to the Betsy Ross house, the Franklin Institute and the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s famous steps – decorated for the convention with one of the 57 painted fiberglass donkeys scattered around town, representing the 50 states, five U.S. territories (Guam pictured), the District of Columbia and Democrats Abroad.
They’ll also benefit from generated electricity for lighting, sound systems, Jumbotrons and modern telecommunications – a collection of new fangledness no Democrat could possibly have imagined when the party staged its first convention at The Athenaeum in Baltimore in 1832 to nominate President Andrew Jackson for a second term.
Posted September 4, 2015
As we can see with Pennsylvania, the energy impacts of the states individually combine to form energy’s national economic and jobs picture: 9.8 million jobs supported and $1.2 trillion in value added.
Posted June 1, 2015
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette op-ed (Eberhart): ... Since 2000, global LNG demand has grown an estimated 7.6 percent per year. And that rate is expected to increase: Ernst & Young predicts that by 2030 global demand will reach 500 million metric tons, doubling 2012 levels.
At the same time, because of the surge of natural gas from American shale, the United States is awash in the stuff, with domestic natural gas production increasing 41 percent in the past decade alone.
Ten years ago we were an LNG importer. Today we’re the world’s largest natural gas producer.
And with the amount of technically recoverable natural gas in the United States 100 times greater than our current consumption, we have a boon to the economy that is expected to contribute up to 665,000 net jobs and $115 billion to GDP by 2035. We are expected to have enough gas to meet our own needs while also helping to satisfy staggering demand in places like Japan, Korea, India, China and Taiwan.
Clearly, this is an opportunity we don’t want to miss. But a protracted, redundant and expensive approval process could put it just out of reach.
Posted May 18, 2015
Sometimes, amid the back and forth of discussions over energy policy, it’s helpful to talk about the real-world impacts of various policy choices.
Right now in Pennsylvania, a proposed natural gas severance tax that would supersede the state’s existing impact fee is being debated vigorous – chiefly because the current impact fee has been good for the commonwealth, very good.
It’s been so good that some question the wisdom of swapping the current system for a severance tax – especially given a recent study showing that the net effect likely would be less energy development, resulting in billions in economic losses and nearly 18,000 fewer jobs supported by 2025. We’ve likened it to the proverbial folly of killing the golden egg-laying goose.
So, if the current impact fee has been good for Pennsylvania, can we be more specific? Yes.
Posted May 12, 2015
Wall Street Journal: The U.S. government Monday conditionally approved Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s plans to drill in the Arctic Ocean this summer, removing the biggest remaining obstacle before the company can explore for oil and natural gas in the Arctic’s frigid, isolated waters.
The announcement adds to a mix of decisions by the Obama administration that have restricted and granted new domestic fossil-fuel development.
Though affecting just one company, the approval is a victory for the oil-and-gas industry, which has criticized recent regulations affecting the sector, including tougher requirements on hydraulic fracturing and trains hauling flammable oil. Monday’s approval is tied to regulations proposed by the government in February for Arctic drilling operations off the coast of Alaska that could pave the way for additional companies exploring in the region.
Posted April 16, 2015
The Wall Street Journal: A former White House economic adviser is calling for changes to a 2005 law mandating increased use of alternative fuels in the nation’s transportation supply, adding a key voice to a growing chorus of people who say the policy is not working.
In a report published Thursday, Harvard University professor Jim Stock, who served on President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers in 2013 and 2014, proposes several reforms to the biofuels mandate, known as the renewable fuel standard, including some requiring congressional approval.
The report adds to a growing body of politicians and experts who are questioning the law’s effectiveness amid regulatory uncertainty and lower oil prices.