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Entries in Energy (41)


Signs of oil boomlet in North Dakota after pipeline finished

Calgary Herald

May 15, 2017 

 BISMARCK, N.D. — There are hundreds more jobs than takers in the heart of North Dakota's oil patch. Finding a hotel room, parking space or table at a restaurant is no longer easy.

More than two years after the state's unprecedented oil bonanza fizzled to a lull, North Dakota — the nation's No. 2 oil producer behind Texas — is experiencing a sort of boomlet that has pushed daily production back above 1 million barrels daily.

"There is a long-term optimism that was not here just a year ago," said Williston Republican Sen. Brad Bekkedahl, whose western North Dakota district is in the epicenter of the state's oil-producing region.

Industry officials and others say the uptick comes from a bump in crude prices, regulatory certainty with the more drill-friendly Trump administration, better technology, and the prospect of nearly half of the state's crude coursing through the disputed Dakota Access Pipeline, which could open markets abroad where top prices are typically fetched.

Read on... 

*North Dakota State Senator Brad Bekkedahl is a member of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Board of Directors.


Xcel announces $1.6 billion investment in wind energy from South Plains, New Mexico

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

March 23, 2017

AMARILLO — Xcel Energy on Tuesday filed to build two new wind energy developments, as well as entering a long-term contract with two existing sites on the South Plains and Eastern New Mexico, adding 1,230 megawatts — enough energy to power 440,000 homes — to its regional system.

The new investment in wind energy comes at a cost of $1.6 billion.

The company plans to build the Sagamore Wind Project in Roosevelt County, New Mexico, by 2020 and the Hale Wind Project in Hale County, south of Plainview, by 2019. Two prospective wind fields in Cochran County and Crosby County near Lubbock, owned by NextEra Energy Resources and known collectively as Bonita Wind Project, will generate an additional 230 megawatts from 2019 to 2049.

Read on...


Boom Time in Texas: Jobs, Traffic, Water Worries: As Economy Prospers, State Copes With Crowded Highways, Strained Water Supplies

HEB Grocery Co., which has more than 350 stores in Texas and Mexico and $20 billion in annual sales, has become so frustrated with traffic congestion in its home state that it recommends increasing state gasoline taxes to fund construction and maintenance, says Ken Allen, a consultant who advises the company on transportation issues.

"Higher tax rates would cost us millions of dollars a year, but the cost of congestion is a hidden tax," says Mr. Allen, formerly HEB's head of transportation logistics. "We are behind in Texas on infrastructure and are getting more behind every year."

Click here for complete article > Wall Street Journal

April 28, 2014

   Americans have flocked to Texas in search of a piece of the state's booming economy as much of the rest of the country struggled.

Now, the state's largest cities are seeing crowded highways, strained water supplies and other pressures that have come with the growth. And Texas politicians—protective of the small-government, low-tax policies many of them believe are at the root of the state's success—are grappling with how to pay the price of prosperity.

Aided by the promise of plentiful employment and a low cost of living, Texas added 1.3 million people from 2010 to 2013, more than any other state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Lone Star State's population has pushed past 26 million and is projected to reach 40 million by 2050…


Alberta economic engine leading way for Canada: Real GDP growth forecast to be best in 2014 and 2015

“Alberta’s economy is one of the strongest in the country,” said Ben Brunnen, economic consultant in Calgary. “Natural resource sector investment has driven much of this growth, and has spurred economic activity and job creation in supporting industries.

Click here for complete article > Edmonton Journal

March 19, 2014

Alberta’s economy will be the envy of other provinces this year and in 2015.Alberta’s economy will be the envy of the nation this year and next year with real GDP growth the best in Canada, says the latest RBC Economics Provincial Outlook.

The report, released Wednesday, said the province will see annual economic growth of 3.7 per cent in 2014 and 3.5 per cent in 2015.

“Since 2010, investment in energy resources in Alberta have been massive and will continue to generate substantial direct and indirect activity in the province,” said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist with RBC, in a statement. “We are actually seeing the provincial economy enjoy strong performance across a wide-range of sectors – this will be another key theme in Alberta’s growth story this year.”...


Gas Up the DeLorean: 5 Innovators Prove the Future of Clean Energy is Here

Click here for complete article > Free Enterprise – U.S. Chamber of Commerce

January 15, 2014

Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox in a scene from Back to the Future (Universal Studios).Adding gigawatts to the power grid sounds like something out of Back to the Future. But it’s happening—now. Gas up the DeLorean. The future of clean energy is here.

Wind power became the number one source of new electricity generation in the U.S. in 2012, accounting for over 43% of new additions with over 13 gigawatts added to the grid. The Energy Information Administration’s most recent market outlook forecasts consumption of solar and other renewables will grow by 3.6% through 2013. And on the supply side, ongoing debates about the prices of renewables and their inability to compete in the marketplace void of subsidies, hasn't stalled solar or wind developers from growing their footprint. Solar is also scaling up with the industry adding 930 megawatts of new photovoltaic capacity through the third quarter of 2013. Solar now generates over 10,250 megawatts of electricity…


The trickle down on taxes and roads

Texas law provides that 0.5 percent of revenues from crude oil and natural gas production taxes are used for enforcement of the production tax provision. With the remaining revenues, 25 percent goes towards the Foundation School Fund and 75 percent goes in the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF), or Rainy Day Fund.

Click here for complete article > Odessa American

December 29, 2013

Ryan Evon|Odessa American | James Niemann, left, and Jason Jumper, CanElson employees, attach a new piece of drill pipe on drilling rig 33 in Gardendale on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013. Between January 2012 and May 2013, Ector County generated approximately $155 million in crude oil production taxes, according to data from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.As the Permian Basin experiences another historic oil boom, the area roadways are under attack with increased traffic and intensified wear and tear, while the oil and gas tax revenue generated by all the activity in the area largely goes back to state coffers and is not earmarked for roads.

The Permian Basin is the top producer of crude oil and natural gas in the state, with twice as many rigs and permits producing about 30 percent more crude than the Eagle Ford Shale daily…


Oil trains raise concerns in small towns, cities

"It's a grave concern," said Dan Sietsema, the emergency coordinator in northeastern Montana's Roosevelt County, where oil trains now pass regularly through the county seat of Wolf Point. "It has the ability to wipe out a town like Wolf Point.

Click here for complete article > Star Telegram

December 20, 2013

AP PHOTO MATTHEW BROWN In this Nov. 6, 2013 photo, a BNSF Railway train hauls crude oil west of Wolf Point, Mont. As common as the mile-long trains have become across the U.S. and Canada, dozens of officials in the towns and cities where they travel say they are concerned they are not adequately prepared to handle an emergency, whether it is a derailment, a large spill or an explosion like those in Canada in July or another in Alabama in November. Railroad officials say that despite the high-profile accidents, transporting oil by trains is safe and that they also have crews stationed around the country to respond to emergencies.It's tough to miss the trains hauling crude oil out of the Northern Plains. They are growing more frequent by the day, mile-long processions of black tank cars that rumble through wheat fields and towns, along rivers and national parks.

As common as they have become across the U.S. and Canada, officials in dozens of towns and cities where the oil trains travel say they are concerned with the possibility of a major derailment, spill or explosion, while their level of preparation varies widely.

Stoking those fears was the July crash of a crude train from the Bakken oil patch in Lac Megantic, Quebec — not far from the Maine border — that killed 47 people. A Nov. 8 train derailment in rural Alabama where several oil cars exploded reinforced them…


North Dakota Senate Majority Leader Wardner: Time for state to put oil money away for TR Expressway

“This is a quality-of-life issue,” Wardner said. “We need to make sure that the people in the 19 counties that produce oil and gas are on board with this as we head into the next legislative session. I believe that North Dakota will have to carve out some funds from its oil money to make sure the TR Expressway gets done.”

Click here for complete article > Dickinson Press

November 26, 2013

Press Photo by Bryan Howath ... With Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Association executive director Cal Klewin looking on, Sen. Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, addresses about 60 onlookers Tuesday afternoon at the association’s annual meeting in Watford City at the Watford Hotel.One of the leading political figures in the North Dakota Senate said Tuesday that it’s time for the state to put tax money generated from oil activity in the Bakken into a fund for enhancements along U.S. Highway 85.

Stating he believes it’s “time to strike,” Sen. Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, told about 60 onlookers at the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway annual meeting in Watford City that communities in oil-impacted western North Dakota should not rely only on federal help with projects to help make Highway 85 — the main north-south corridor in and out of the Bakken — safer for motorists.

“I really feel that four-laning (Highway 85) is absolutely necessary,” Wardner said. “I live in Dickinson and the four-laning that was done just 5 miles to the north out of town on Highway 21 made an incredible difference. For years, we have promoted this as a commerce corridor, which it is. But it did not resonate with some legislators and people who live in the eastern part of the state. We have come to a point now where it’s about a commerce corridor. It’s about a corridor for local traffic that is safe to drive.”…