CEA Newsletter November 2009

CEA Newsletter
Issue 32

Message from CEA President David Holt
As we prepare for the upcoming winter season and the excitement of celebrating holidays with family and friends, increased heating bills and energy concerns are also on the minds of many Americans. The higher energy costs associated with cooler temperatures highlight the need for a balanced American energy policy which focuses on reasonable and responsible use of all resources, including traditional and alternative.

One significant resource of American energy is our nation’s offshore area. The Obama Administration recently established the Ocean Policy Task Force to propose policies for the management of our oceans and coasts, as well as the resources and activities within those waters.

While the Task Force is rightly concerned with the environmental stewardship of our oceans and coasts, they released an Interim Report that proposes a system of oceans governance that could significantly impact our nation’s ability to safely develop its own offshore energy, including oil, natural gas and renewable energy.

In September, the Obama Administration closed its public comment period on a new Five Year Program to oversee offshore energy leasing. The Interim Report proposes policies that could undermine such a program and hurt consumers in the long-run.

We must urge President Obama and his Task Force to issue an oceans governance policy that successfully recognizes the importance of striking a balance between the protection of our oceans and their economic uses, particularly where responsible energy production is concerned.

Join CEA in this effort to secure a balanced approach to regulation of America’s offshore and ocean resources. Visit CEA’s website to learn more and participate in this important effort.

Thank you for being part of CEA’s valued membership and participating in our efforts to empower America.

David Holt
President

Ensure Balanced Approach to America’s Offshore & Ocean Resources
To help ensure a balanced oceans policy that will secure our energy and economic future, please tell President Obama and the Ocean Policy Task Force today that you support the development of a policy that does not actively prohibit the safe and responsible development of our offshore energy resources. Send in your comments today!

Help Defeat Efforts to Ban North American Energy and Increase Prices at the Pump!
The Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) is being sold to the American public as a way to blend transportation fuels with low-carbon alternatives so that tailpipe CO2 emissions can be reduced. But the fact is that affordable and reliable lower-carbon fuel options are not yet available. As a result, an LCFS simply will increase the cost of diesel fuel and gasoline and will place certain domestic supplies of transportation fuels off limits. Increasing the cost of transportation fuel and U.S. dependence upon foreign sources of petroleum is simply unsound energy policy.

Join our effort to defeat these measures, which would put an economic stranglehold on America and leave U.S. consumers stuck with higher prices at the pump. Send in your comments today!

CEA Blog: Lawmakers voice concern over Ocean Policy Task Force
Check out CEA’s recent blog entry about President Obama’s Ocean Policy Task Force and concerns that it would block American offshore oil development and impose restrictions that would cost Americans jobs.  Join the conversation at CEA’s website. Read blog…

Consumer Corner: Prepare To Cut Costs This Winter!
As you prepare your home for colder temperatures this winter season, use a few of these easy, energy-efficient tips from Energy Star and the U.S. Department of Energy to save both energy and money.

  1. Set the thermostat comfortably low to save big – for instance, resetting your temperature from 72 degrees to 65 will save 10 percent on your heating bill.
  2. Save on hot water by setting your electric water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and taking shorter showers.
  3. Open window coverings during the day to allow the sun’s warmth in and close them at night to keep the chill out.
  4. Make sure your home is leak-free – check all the nooks and crannies around windows, doors, plumbing and more.
  5. Insulate your hot water heater and hot water pipes to prevent heat loss.
  6. Install storm windows to reduce heat loss by 25 to 50 percent.
  7. Keep your heating equipment in tip-top shape and replace all filters regularly.

President Announces Multi-Billion Dollar Investment in Smart Energy Grid
President Obama recently announced plans and funding of a more efficient, reliable and stronger modern energy smart grid to meet American electricity needs. Read article…

Arizona’s First Commercial-Scale Wind Energy Development Keynoted by Salazar
Noting America’s need to reduce its “dangerous dependence on foreign oil,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently participated in a dedication ceremony for a large wind energy project in Arizona. Read article…

American Association of Petroleum Geologists: Informing Policy with Science
By David Curtiss
The American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) is the world’s largest scientific and professional geological association, with more than 34,000 members in 116 countries. Founded in 1917 and headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, AAPG is not a trade association.  We do not represent the petroleum industry.  Rather we represent the science and profession of petroleum geology.  Our members include professionals active in industry, government, and academia.  They are practitioners of the science.

AAPG’s purpose is to foster the spirit of scientific research among its members and to advance the science of geology, particularly as it relates to petroleum, natural gas, other subsurface fluids, mineral resources, and the environment.  To achieve these goals, AAPG publishes the Bulletin, a juried monthly geologic science journal and the Explorer, a monthly newspaper with upstream information news; sponsors continuing education schools, seminars, and field trips; holds annual scientific meetings both in the U.S. and internationally; publishes specific geologic books and materials; and provides geologic information to the general public.

The Association has three divisions.  The Division of Professional Affairs certifies petroleum geologists, petroleum geophysicists, and coal geologists.  It also enforces the code of ethics that AAPG members agree to uphold.  The Division of Environmental Geosciences uses geologic knowledge to solve environmental challenges, and publishes Environmental Geosciences, a juried quarterly geologic science journal.  The Energy and Minerals Division focuses on energy minerals (e.g., coal and uranium), geothermal, hydrates, and unconventional petroleum resources.

Four years ago, AAPG opened the Geoscience & Energy Office in Washington, DC (GEO-DC) to bring the collective scientific expertise of AAPG members to policy makers.  Our objective is to provide the scientific understanding that enables policy makers to craft more informed laws and regulations.

For example, for the Energy 101 briefing at the CEA October meeting in Washington, D.C., my colleague Don Juckett focused on a key point that is often misunderstood in policy circles:  the difference between a petroleum resource and petroleum reserves. In brief, a petroleum resource denotes the total endowment of hydrocarbons in a particular exploration area or geologic basin.  It is an estimated amount based on geologic knowledge and conditions, and includes both discovered and undiscovered hydrocarbons.

A petroleum reserve is a more narrowly defined estimate of hydrocarbons, including geologic, engineering, and economic factors.  For publicly traded companies the definitions of reserves are set forth by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  Reserves are discovered hydrocarbons that can be produced at a given price (or price range) – it is an oil company’s inventory in storage.  When you produce oil or natural gas, you are pumping and selling from your reserves.

Converting an oil and natural gas resource into an oil and natural gas reserve takes three things: 1. Access to the resource, which in the U.S. is located either on public or private lands both onshore and offshore; 2. Technology that improves our ability to find and produce oil and natural gas; and 3. Investment climate conducive to the significant capital expenditures needed to produce oil and natural gas and deliver it to consumers.

As we speak to policy makers we spend a lot of time focusing on these issues – access, research and development, and tax reform – as well as other policy and regulatory issues.

Another topic we have been working on is the dramatic energy workforce shortage facing the United States and the world in the next decade.  We are talking about everyone, from petroleum geologists and geophysicists and electrical power line workers, to nuclear engineers and the skilled trades working in energy.  No part of the energy sector, including the government and regulatory arena, is immune from the dramatic “graying” of the workforce.  This is an issue where the Consumer Energy Alliance has provided significant leadership since its inception.

For more information about AAPG, the issues we are working on, or if you have a question about the science of finding oil and natural gas please contact David Curtiss at 202-684-8225 or dcurtiss@aapg.org.

Affiliate Spotlight: Air Conditioning Contractors of America
For more than 40 years, the Air Conditioning Contractors of America has served the nationwide educational, policy, and technical interests of the small businesses who design, install, and maintain indoor environmental systems.

“ACCA members characterize the extent of America’s economic diversity. The typical ACCA contractor member employs less than 10 people, but many of our members have hundreds of workers. ACCA protects the interests of the small business residential and commercial contractors of the HVACR industry,” says Vice President of Government Relations Charlie McCrudden.

Affordable and reliable energy sources help control the fluctuation of fuel prices and allow the small business contractors of the HVACR industry to grow their businesses.

“The typical ACCA member has a fleet of vehicles used to service and install HVACR systems in homes and buildings. Fuel expenses represent a significant cost of doing business as a service contractor,” explains McCrudden.

ACCA has a longstanding history of supporting efforts to encourage energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings though increased building performance.

“Every day, thousands of ACCA members help homeowners and building managers realize the comfort and cost benefits of energy efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, (HVAC) equipment.  ACCA members would like to see more incentives for building owners and homeowners to reach for higher efficiency HVACR appliances. At the same time, ACCA members would like to see more access to affordable energy sources so that normal market conditions can keep fuel prices low,” he emphasizes.

As a member of Consumer Energy Alliance, ACCA’s goal is to work with other stakeholders to ensure access to energy at reasonable prices.

“ACCA is a member of CEA because the collective voice of the Alliance membership is louder than the individual organizations combined,” McCrudden notes. “As a trade association representing small business contractors who rely on their fleet vehicles, ACCA is very concerned about access to energy and its effect on price.”

For more information on Air Conditioning Contractors of America, visit www.acca.org.