Friday, February 2, 2018

GWPF Newsletter - State Of The Union: Trump And U.S. Democrats Ignore Global Warming Completely








U.S. President Makes American Energy Dominance Key Priority

In this newsletter:

1) SOTU: Trump Does Not Mention Global Warming Once
Global Warming Policy Forum, 31 January 2018 
 
2) Democrats Ignore Climate Change In State Of The Union Rebuttal
Huffington Post, 31 January 2018


 
3) Trump Celebrates End Of Wars On 'American Energy' And 'Clean Coal'
Washington Examiner, 30 January 2018 
 
4) U.S. To Overtake Saudi Arabia & Russia As World’s Largest Oil Producer, Upending Global Trade And Geopolitics
Reuters, 30 January 2018 
 
5) Exxon Plans Fivefold Rise In Permian Basin Shale Oil Production
Financial Times, 30 January 2018 
 
6) Watch Out America, Canada Is The Next Frontier For Shale Oil
Financial Post, 29 January 2018
 
7) Green Myth Exposed: China’s Co2 Emissions Jumped By 4% Last Year
The New York Times, 26 January 2018 


Full details:

1) SOTU: Trump Does Not Mention Global Warming Once
The Daily Caller, 30 January 2018 
Michael Bastasch

While President Donald Trump touted policies to make the U.S. into an energy superpower, his first State of the Union (SOTU) address to Congress left out a hallmark of Obama-era speeches.

Trump’s address is the first in eight years to not refer to manmade global warming — nine years if you include former President Barack Obama’s 2009 address to Congress. Instead, Trump emphasized deregulation and boosting energy production — many of the regulations Trump rescinded were Obama-era global warming policies.

“In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in history,” Trump said in his speech Tuesday night.

“We have ended the war on American Energy – and we have ended the War on clean coal,” Trump said. “We are now an exporter of energy to the world.”

Nearly all of Obama’s addresses to Congress explicitly mentioned climate change. Obama addressed Congress eight times, explicitly mentioning climate change in all but one speech.

Full story

2) Democrats Ignore Climate Change In State Of The Union Rebuttal
Huffington Post, 31 January 2018

The Democratic Party omitted any mention of climate change in its rebuttal Tuesday to President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address.

In his speech, Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) didn’t bring up global warming, sea-level rise or the surge in global greenhouse gas emissions, which threaten to become worse as the Republican White House ramps up fossil fuel production to unprecedented levels.

Full story

3) Trump Celebrates End Of Wars On 'American Energy' And 'Clean Coal'
Washington Examiner, 30 January 2018 
Josh Siegel


In his first State of the Union address, President Trump said his administration's agenda of "energy dominance" was working. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Trump on Tuesday night celebrated his administration’s success in implementing its “energy dominance” agenda.

“We have ended the war on American energy, and we have ended the war on beautiful clean coal,” Trump declared during his first State of the Union address. “We are now proudly an exporter of energy to the world.”

The U.S. is now a net producer of natural gas because of the shale oil and natural gas boom that began during the Obama administration and has transformed the country into the world's leading fossil fuel producer.

In addition, the U.S. is expected to experience "explosive growth" in oil production in 2018 and will surpass Saudi Arabia's output for the first time, the International Energy Agency reported this month.

Former President Barack Obama in 2015 signed a law passed by Congress ending a 40-year-old ban on oil exports.

But the U.S. remains a net importer of crude oil. Overall, the U.S. still imports more energy than it exports, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The Trump administration has promoted “energy dominance” by taking a lighter touch to regulation, and used its first year to scrap or delay a number of Obama-era regulations targeting industry to reduce its emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants that most scientists say drive man-made climate change.

He has announced his intent to leave the Paris climate change agreement in 2020. His administration has also repealed the Clean Power Plan regulation on carbon emissions from existing power plants that underpinned the international climate accord.

Coal has seen its prospects improve modestly during Trump’s first year. Driven by exports, U.S. coal production increased by 6 percent last year.

There was a one percent increase in U.S. coal mining jobs last year, to more than 50,000, a response to increased demand from Asia, mostly China, for metallurgical coal used in steelmaking, experts say.

But despite the growth in exports, U.S. coal consumption declined by 2.4 percent in 2017, falling to its lowest level since 1982. Coal’s portion of the electricity generation mix, which was near 50 percent a decade ago, is projected to fall below 30 percent this year, the EIA said.

Full story

4) U.S. To Overtake Saudi Arabia & Russia As World’s Largest Oil Producer, Upending Global Trade And Geopolitics
Reuters, 30 January 2018 

U.S. energy exports now compete with Middle East oil for buyers in Asia, with breath-taking economic and political impacts



With Donald Trump’s State of the Union address upcoming, one of the game changing achievements of his administration has undoubtably been the spike in U.S. energy exports, which now rival those of Russia and Middle Eastern nations and put the U.S. on track to be one of the world’s largest oil exporters.

Surging shale production is poised to continue pushing U.S. oil output to more than 10 million barrels per day – toppling a record set in 1970 and crossing a threshold few could have imagined even a decade ago. The U.S. government forecasts that the nation’s production will climb to 11 million barrels a day by late 2019, a level that would rival Russia, the world’s top producer.

The economic and political impacts of soaring U.S. output are breathtaking, cutting the nation’s oil imports by a fifth over a decade, providing high-paying jobs in rural communities and lowering consumer prices for domestic gasoline by 37 percent from a 2008 peak.

Fears of dire energy shortages that gripped the country in the 1970s have been replaced by a presidential policy of global “energy dominance.”

“It has had incredibly positive impacts for the U.S. economy, for the workforce and even our reduced carbon footprint” as shale natural gas has displaced coal at power plants, said John England, head of consultancy Deloitte’s U.S. energy and resources practice.

U.S. energy exports now compete with Middle East oil for buyers in Asia. Daily trading volumes of U.S. oil futures contracts have more doubled in the past decade, averaging more than 1.2 billion barrels per day in 2017, according to exchange operator CME Group.

The U.S. oil price benchmark, West Texas Intermediate crude, is now watched closely worldwide by foreign customers of U.S. gasoline, diesel and crude.

The question of whether the shale sector can continue at this pace remains an open debate. The rapid growth has stirred concerns that the industry is already peaking and that production forecasts are too optimistic.

The costs of labor and contracted services have recently risen sharply in the most active oilfields; drillable land prices have soared; and some shale financiers are calling on producers to focus on improving short-term returns rather than expanding drilling.

But U.S. producers have already far outpaced expectations and overcome serious challenges, including the recent effort by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to sink shale firms by flooding global markets with oil.

The cartel of oil-producing nations backed down in November 2016 and enacted production cuts amid pressure from their own members over low prices – which had plunged to below $27 earlier that year from more than $100 a barrel in 2014.

Shale producers won the price war through aggressive cost-cutting and rapid advances in drilling technology. Oil now trades above $64 a barrel, enough for many U.S. producers to finance both expanded drilling and dividends for shareholders.

Booming exports

Efficiencies spurred by the battle with OPEC – including faster drilling, better well designs and more fracking – helped U.S. firms produce enough oil to successfully lobby for the repeal of a ban on oil exports. In late 2015, Congress overturned the prohibition it had imposed following OPEC’s 1973 embargo.

The United States now exports up to 1.7 million barrels per day of crude, and this year will have the capacity to export 3.8 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. Terminals conceived for importing liquefied natural gas have now been overhauled to allow exports.

That export demand, along with surging production in remote locations such as West Texas and North Dakota, has led to a boom in U.S. pipeline construction. Firms including Kinder Morgan and Enterprise Products Partners added 26,000 miles of liquids pipelines in the five years between 2012 and 2016, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Several more multi-billion-dollar pipeline projects are on the drawing board.

U.S. drillers say they can supply plenty more.

Full story

5) Exxon Plans Fivefold Rise In Permian Basin Shale Oil Production
Financial Times, 30 January 2018 

ExxonMobil, the largest US energy group, plans to increase its shale oil production in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico fivefold to 500,000 barrels a day in 2025, the company said on Tuesday.

It is the latest sign of how large international companies are increasingly pinning their hopes for future growth on “unconventional” resources in North America. Rivals including Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell are also planning for expansion.

Exxon has been building up its position in the Permian Basin with a series of acquisitions, including a deal a year ago to buy drilling rights on 250,000 acres from the Bass family for up to $6.6bn. It has also been working to cut production costs, and says it can develop the resources profitably “at a range of prices”.

Its development and production costs in the region are less than $15 a barrel of oil and gas, Exxon said.

Total oil production in the Permian basin has roughly tripled in the past seven years as a result of the shale boom, from under 1m b/d a day at the start of 2011 to about 2.8m b/d today, and Exxon’s plans suggest there is still potential for many more years of growth.

Most US shale companies have struggled for profitability, and the industry as a whole has consistently lost money since the first successful shale oil wells were drilled in 2008-09. Exxon itself lost $439m on oil and gas production in the US in the first nine months of 2017.

But Sara Ortwein, president of XTO Energy, Exxon’s shale subsidiary, said cost reductions and the group’s ability to maximise the value of its resources by using its production in its own refineries and chemicals plants along the Gulf of Mexico coast, meant that it could increase output while making a profit in the Permian.

Full post

6) Watch Out America, Canada Is The Next Frontier For Shale Oil
Financial Post, 29 January 2018

Canadian producers and global oil majors are increasingly exploring the Duvernay and Montney formations, which they say could rival the most prolific U.S. shale fields

CALGARY — The revolution in U.S. shale oil has battered Canada’s energy industry in recent years, ending two decades of rapid expansion and job creation in the nation’s vast oilsands.

Now Canada is looking to its own shale fields to repair the economic damage.

Canadian producers and global oil majors are increasingly exploring the Duvernay and Montney formations, which they say could rival the most prolific U.S. shale fields.

Canada is the first country outside the United States to see large-scale development of shale resources, which already account for 8 per cent of total Canadian oil output. China, Russia and Argentina also have ample shale reserves but have yet to overcome the obstacles to full commercial development.

Canada, by contrast, offers many of the same advantages that allowed oil firms to launch the shale revolution in the United States: numerous private energy firms with appetite for risk; deep capital markets; infrastructure to transport oil; low population in regions that contain shale reserves; and plentiful water to pump into shale wells.

Together, the Duvernay and Montney formations in Canada hold marketable resources estimated at 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids and 4.5 billion barrels of oil, according to the National Energy Board, a Canadian regulator.

“The Montney is thought to have about half the recoverable resources of the whole oilsands region, so it’s formidable,” Marty Proctor, chief executive of Calgary-based Seven Generations Energy, told Reuters in an interview.

Canada’s shale output stands at about 335,000 bpd, according to energy consultants Wood Mackenzie, which forecasts output should grow to 420,000 bpd in a decade.

The pace of output growth could quicken and the estimated size of the resources could rise as activity picks up and knowledge of the fields improves, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

Full story

7) Green Myth Exposed: China’s Co2 Emissions Jumped By 4% Last Year
The New York Times, 26 January 2018 

“The widely reported flattening of China’s emissions while economic growth continued apace was misleading. Emissions had flattened because of the slowed economy.”



DAVOS — Chinese President Xi Jinping galvanised supporters of the climate-change fight last year when he told an audience at the World Economic Forum that the effort “is a responsibility we must assume for future generations.”

This week, as they gather again in Davos for the annual global gabfest, world leaders continue to see China as a major force in that fight.

Yet new figures show a complicating development: China’s emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases may be rising again.

China — which already emits more carbon from burning fossil fuels than the United States and Europe combined — saw electricity use jump last year as its economy accelerated.

Much of the extra demand was met by burning more coal, a particularly dirty fuel. Oil use has also risen as China has become the world’s largest car market, and so has natural gas consumption.

Experts say one annual increase doesn’t indicate China is returning to an era when its emissions grew by leaps and bounds. But the increase illustrates the challenges and compromises Beijing must juggle if it wants to stoke its economy and at the same time keep its environmental promises. […]

But China’s National Development and Reform Commission released detailed data this week showing that the country’s electricity consumption jumped 6.6 percent last year. Wind and solar energy grew quickly, but not nearly enough to meet the extra demand. Electricity generation from the burning of fossil fuels, almost entirely coal, rose 5.2 percent in China last year.


“The increase last year is a one-off — it’s not likely to be sustained — but Chinese emissions are not likely to go down, either,” said Trevor Houser, a partner at the Rhodium Group, a New York consulting group specializing in China. Rhodium estimates that China’s energy-related carbon emissions climbed last year 2.2 percent to 4.1 percent.

By contrast, China had somewhat weak industrial production in the second half of 2015 and the first half of 2016 because of a financial crisis. That hurt the Chinese economy and fossil fuel consumption in both years. China still burns coal to generate three-quarters of its electricity.

Full story

see also GWPF Report: The Truth About China


 


The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.

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