Category Archives: Economy

To Cut Emissions to Zero, U.S. Needs to Make Big Changes in Next 10 Years

From The New York Times. New research details major infrastructure work that would need to start right away to achieve Biden’s goal of zero emissions by 2050. December 15, 2020 

Princeton Researchers used some of the most comprehensive models of America’s energy system to lay out several detailed scenarios for how the country could slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as endorsed by President-elect Biden. The scenarios look at what combinations of technologies could zero out emissions at lowest cost, as well as assessing the staggering amount of infrastructure that would need to be built in just the next 10 years.

Reaching Net Zero Emissions in Virginia Could Increase State GDP

From Forbes Reaching Net Zero Emissions in Virginia Could Increase State GDP More Than $3.5 Billion Per Year. December 9, 2020

An ambitious policy package, going above and beyond the Virginia Clean Economy Act signed in April, would implement climate policies across the transportation, buildings, industrial, land, and agricultural sectors. It could put Virginia on a 1.5°C pathway and generate massive economic benefits: By 2050, this scenario could achieve net-zero emissions, generate more than 12,000 job-years, and increase state GDP by more than $3.5 billion per year.

Natural Gas CEO Admits to Excess Pipeline Capacity from Marcellus Basin

From Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance’s ABRA Update 232, August 13, 2020

There is excess pipeline capacity for natural gas produced from the Marcellus shale field and the gap of excess capacity over gas produced is expected to grow, according to Toby Rice, CEO of EQT Corporation, the largest shale gas producer in the United States and a potential major shipper of gas for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). His observations were made during a July 27 earnings call with representatives of investment firms. In answer to a question about his “view on the future pipeline development out of Appalachia” in the wake of the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Rice said:

. . . the dynamics that are set up right now is Appalachia is producing around 32 Bcf a day. We’ve got about call it 35 Bcf a day of local takeaway — of takeaway and local demand. So, there is a 3 Bcf a day gap between what we are producing and what we are able to take away. Adding MVP that takes — that takes you up to – call it – 37 Bcf a day. So, you’ve got a pretty big gap between capacity and supply in the basin. I think, you couple that with the fact that the basin is going to struggle to grow. I mean, you’ve got all operators saying that they’re hanging in a maintenance mode. We’re also seeing activity levels today, which suggest that this basin is going to decline. All of that is going to widen the gap of takeaway.

The Future of LNG Exports Increasingly Looks Shaky

From Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance’s ABRA Update #277, May 22, 2020:

A recently released analysis of the future financial prospects for liquified natural gas (LNG) strongly suggests that markets are imploding. The LNG issue becomes relevant for those concerned about efforts to build new, unneeded natural gas pipelines because of excessive natural gas supplies and reduced domestic demand. The report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) notes:

  • High prices in prior years had spurred a torrent of new LNG projects around the globe. But that optimism sowed the seeds of the fuel’s current troubles, as massive new supplies of LNG, much of it coming from the U.S., flooded global markets even as demand growth remained muted. The resulting oversupply fueled a global price slump: even before COVID-19 decimated global energy demand, LNG prices were already plummeting to a ten-year low.
  • The LNG industry entered today’s crisis on shaky footing. And now that the economic slowdown is in full swing, all previous LNG supply and demand projections have been rendered moot, and all crystal balls remain cloudy. In that context, delay is a smart decision.

For the complete IEEFA report, click here.

Sinking Ship

The latest Front Porch Blog from Appalachian Voices, It’s high time to abandon ship on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, discusses in detail the mounting evidence for why abandoning the ACP is the prudent course for all – shareholders, ratepayers, impacted communities, and the environment – and why shareholders should be particularly concerned.

The article discusses political barriers, economic reality, and the regulatory outlook, all of which are negative.

The conclusion? “Dominion and Duke have gotten themselves into rough waters. Try as they might, they have never been able to justify the tremendous environmental and social costs of the ACP — nor the project’s economic burden on customers — to regulators or the courts. At this point the companies cannot justify the project to their shareholders either. Hoping that the storm will pass and that the pipeline will move forward is reckless. The required permits may never be granted, the investment may never be recouped, and the demand may never return. Now is the time for these companies to abandon ship. Now is the time to cancel the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.”

Read the full blog post here.