Posts Tagged ‘energy policy’

photo courtesy of Lars Herbst

BOE an independent, unsponsored blog that is dedicated to offshore safety, pollution prevention, energy production, effective regulation, and responsible energy policy. If you would like to submit a post, leave a comment to that effect at any time.

Happy New Year! Bud

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Per Executive Order 14082, September 12, 2022, yet another White House office and task force has been established to coordinate (direct?) the 26 Federal Departments (plus many bureaus and offices) with energy and climate responsibilities.

Sec. 3. White House Office on Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation. There is hereby established the White House Office on Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation within the Executive Office of the President, which shall coordinate the policymaking process with respect to implementing the energy and infrastructure provisions of the Act and other essential initiatives. The White House Office on Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation shall have a staff headed by the Senior Advisor for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation; shall have such staff and other assistance as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this order, subject to the availability of appropriations; and may work with established or ad hoc committees and interagency groups.

Sec. 4. ‘‘There is hereby established a National Climate Task Force (Task Force). The Task Force shall be chaired by the Senior Advisor for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation. The National Climate Advisor shall serve as Vice Chair.’’

Task Force Membership:

(i) the Secretary of the Treasury; (ii) the Secretary of Defense; (iii) the Attorney General; (iv) the Secretary of the Interior; (v) the Secretary of Agriculture; (vi) the Secretary of Commerce; (vii) the Secretary of Labor; (viii) the Secretary of Health and Human Services; (ix) the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; (x) the Secretary of Transportation; (xi) the Secretary of Energy; (xii) the Secretary of Education; (xiii) the Secretary of Homeland Security; (xiv) the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; (xv) the Director of the Office of Management and Budget; (xvi) the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy; (xvii) the Administrator of the Small Business Administration; (xviii) the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality; (xix) the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs; (xx) the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy; (xxi) the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; (xxii) the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy; (xxiii) the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; (xxiv) the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service; (xxv) the Administrator of General Services; (xxvi) the White House Infrastructure Coordinator; and (xxvii) the heads of such other departments, agencies, and offices as the Chair or Vice Chair may from time to time invite to participate.’’

Over the years, the work of cabinet departments has been increasingly directed by the White House, such that cabinet officials confirmed by the Senate are often subordinate to White House staff. Critics contend that the centralization of energy and climate policy in the White House has delayed and altered important Departmental actions. Did the White House climate office author this rather extreme statement in the introductory text for the proposed 5-year leasing plan?

The long-term nature of OCS oil and gas development, such that production on a lease can continue for decades makes consideration of future climate pathways relevant to the Secretary’s determinations with respect to how the OCS leasing program best meets the Nation’s energy needs. (Interpretation: offshore oil and gas production must be throttled down to correspond with the climate office’s energy fantasies.)

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Here is a link to the entire bill. Good weekend reading for energy policy nerds. 😀

The energy sections begin on page 232 and continue until the end (page 725!). Some highlights from an offshore energy perspective (more important items in bold):

  • p. 429 – Tax credit eligibility for offshore wind energy components including blades, nacelles, foundations, and towers.
  • p. 447 – Credits for CCS equipment
  • p. 460 – For offshore wind facilities, this section specifies the % of the total costs that must be expended in the US for the facility to qualify as being manufactured in the US. That % rises gradually to 55% after 12/31/2027.
  • p. 518 – Eligibility of CCS for credits
  • p. 615 – $100 million for offshore wind electricity transmission planning, modelling, and analysis. (Seems like a lot for planning and analysis.)
  • p. 621 – $10 million for oversight by DOE Inspector General. (Those folks will have their hands full!)
  • p. 628 – Authorizes wind leasing in the EGOM and South Atlantic areas withdrawn from all leasing at the end of the Trump administration.
  • p. 631 – Authorizes offshore wind leasing adjacent to US territories. (Should be interesting!)
  • p. 632 – Codifies increase in offshore royalty rates: range of 16 2/3% – 18 3/4% for 10 years; not less than 16 2/3 % thereafter
  • p. 640 – The provision requiring that royalty be paid on flared/vented gas could be problematic. The exceptions are not consistent with those currently in the regulations, and would be difficult for BSEE/ONRR to manage. The proposed legislation (exception 1) exempts “gas vented or flared for not longer than 48 hours in an emergency situation that poses a danger to human health, safety, or the environment.” However, current BSEE regulations allow limited (48 hours cumulative) flaring for certain operations (e.g. during the unloading or cleaning of a well, drill-stem testing, production testing, and other well-evaluation testing). This flaring is essential but not normally an emergency situation. Requiring royalty payments for such essential, but not emergency, flaring would be unreasonable and inconsistent with the intent of this provision (minimize unnecessary flaring and venting).
  • p. 641 – Per our previous post, this section reinstates Lease Sale 257 (GoM) and requires that the scheduled 2022 lease sales 258 (GoM) and 259 (Cook Inlet) be held by 12/31/2022. Lease Sale 261 (GoM) must be held by 9/30/2023. Saddle up!

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“Norway cannot escape the unpleasant fact: this is a form of war profit”, daily paper Dagbladet wrote in an editorial. “While Ukraine is being destroyed, and most other countries are mainly feeling the negative effects of the war, such as higher energy prices, higher food prices and general inflation, we are making a gain”, it said.


While such introspection is commendable, energy supply issues in Europe would be far worse were it not for Norway’s actions including:

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U.S. Oil Industry Uses Ukraine Invasion to Push for More Drilling at Home

New York Times

Actually, it’s a case of the Ukraine invasion demonstrating the obvious – domestic production is critical to our economy and energy security. Europe and the US have had a wake-up call and responsible leaders now recognize the importance of secure supplies and the need to halt purchases from a tyrant.

The oil industry is doing just fine with $100+ per barrel oil. They will produce oil and gas where the opportunities present themselves: Guyana, Mexico, North Sea, Africa, Brazil, Canada, private lands in supportive US states, and elsewhere. The folly is US policy that unreasonably restricts exploration on Federal lands, including the Outer Continental Shelf. These restrictions penalize the owners of those lands, the people of the United States, not the oil industry and certainly not the Russian tyrant.

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By the end of 2022, Germany will have switched off its last 8.1 GW of nuclear power. Another 6.4 GW of coal capacity are scheduled for shuttering by 2023. Recent events and publications have given ammunition to those who fear a collapse of the system.

In 2018, Germany’s influential energy industry association BDEW said that Germany would run into a “shortfall in secured capacity by 2023 at the latest”, and that the country shouldn’t rely on its neighbors to make up the difference. Three years later and a lot closer to the nuclear phase-outBDEW head Kerstin Andreae says: “For a secure energy supply, we also need new gas-fired power plants, as this is the only way to obtain the required controllable power.”

Clean Energy Wire

Germany will need back-up and supplemental power from gas plants, but the EU has excluded gas-fired energy generation from the list of sustainable investments and the associated incentives. Per Kerstin Andreae of the BDEW:

“We need to build these new power plant capacities now. Although they will initially run on natural gas, they are already capable of using hydrogen as an energy source in the future and will thus ultimately become climate neutral,” she said. But without a clear decision from the Commission „ important energy transition investments are at risk”

Clean Energy Wire

Meanwhile, oilprice.com reports that “UK peak-hour power prices for Monday evening through 6 p.m. surged to the highest level in a month due to low wind power generation during the weekend.” In what is becoming a familiar story:

Coal closures and no immediate replacements for nuclear power have exposed the UK’s vulnerabilities to the whims of the weather, with cold winters stoking natural gas demand and still weather lowering wind power generation.


Daniel Yergin reminded us that energy transitions take time. Countries that ignore those realities are likely to suffer the consequences, both economically and environmentally. Per Aissatou Sophie Gladima, the energy minister of Senegal:

Restricting lending for oil and gas development, she said, “is like removing the ladder and asking us to jump or fly.”

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Leading up to #COP26 convening in Glasgow next month, the OPEC SG advised legislators and policymakers to consider the fact that billions of people lack reliable and affordable modern energy, a basic need for all.


Reminder that “no energy is dirtier than no energy.

For those interested in regional and international oil market data, OPEC’s monthly reports are quite good. You can download the October report here.


Demand for OPEC crude in 2022 was revised up by 0.1 mb/d from the previous month’s assessment to stand at 28.8 mb/d, around 1.0 mb/d higher than in 2021.

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Look at the US Dept. of Energy homepage and I think you’ll get a better sense of the imbalanced energy policies, in the US and elsewhere, that are contributing to the emerging energy crisis.

There isn’t a single mention of oil or natural gas on the Dept. of Energy homepage. DOE’s priorities are “Combating the Climate Crisis” (embellished with a satellite image of Hurricane Andrew), “Creating Clean Energy Union Jobs” (other energy jobs aren’t important?), and “Promoting Energy Justice.” With regard to the latter, how is driving up energy prices “energy justice?” How is importing more of the oil that we consume “energy justice.” Affordable energy has increased economic opportunities for all and enabled us to better protect our environment. In that regard, this Petr Beckmann slide holds true:

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Very good Washington Post article.

As the global economy recovers and global leaders prepare to gather for a landmark conference on climate change, the sudden energy crunch hitting the world is threatening already stressed supply chains, stirring geopolitical tensions and raising questions about whether the world is ready for the green energy revolution when it’s having trouble powering itself right now.

In the United States, which as an energy producer has been spared the worst consequences of the crisis even as gasoline prices have hit their highest mark since 2014, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm suggested Wednesday that the Biden administration might sell off part of the country’s Strategic Oil Reserve or ban exports of crude oil.

Energy analysts warned that such moves could be self-defeating, and on Thursday the department backpedaled.

Energy analysts argue that Europe moved too quickly away from fossil-fueled power, before ensuring that sufficient renewable sources could take up the slack in an emergency. Caught halfway in a transition that should take decades, they say, Europe is now scrambling to find coal and gas to burn in its remaining traditional plants.

In Guangdong, China’s most populous province, authorities have banned the use of elevators in office buildings for the third floor and below, encouraged residents to use natural light as much as possible, and asked for air conditioners to be adjusted to higher temperatures. Beijing and Shanghai canceled annual light shows during the Golden Week holiday that spanned the first week of October.

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Election Results 2021: Norway Set for New Prime Minister - Life in Norway

While Conservative Party leader Erna Solberg will no longer be Prime Minister, her likely replacement, Labor leader Jonas Gahr Støre, seems to be a moderate on energy issues:

“I believe that calling time on our oil and gas industry is the wrong industrial policy and the wrong climate policy,” Stoere told reporters.


Monday’s result means Labour neither needs the Marxist Red Party nor the anti-oil Green Party to rule, thus lessening the pressure for big shifts.

“Labour will not make any dramatic changes to the oil industry,” said Teodor Sveen-Nilsen, an energy analyst at Sparebank 1 Markets.


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