I hope you had a wonderful holiday and were able to enjoy some time with family!
You may recall that at the beginning of December, I wrote about five policy initiatives that could bolster the oil and gas industries. One of those initiatives was lifting the export ban on U.S. oil and another was the growth of pipeline infrastructure to move Appalachian natural gas to competitive markets.
The conclusion of 2015 brings unexpected and positive energy news as Congress passed and the President signed budget legislation that lifted the ban on U.S. oil exports. Further, due to billions of dollars of ongoing capital investment in new pipelines, Appalachian natural gas will soon be able to reach more attractive pricing (see this report in Oil and Gas Investor).
My five policy initiatives focused on oil and gas, but I do believe in an “All of the Above” energy policy. For “All of the Above” to succeed and propel the U.S. to become the world energy leader, there must also be responsible policy support for renewables. The last time Congress passed major energy legislation was arguably in 2009 when it passed the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. That Bill provided major stimulus for renewable energy through its Investment Tax Credit programs.
The just passed budget legislation provides a comprehensive, responsible extension and ultimate conclusion to many of the tax credits that could yield a boom over the next three to five years. Both Bloomberg and Scientific American do a nice job of summarizing this impact. The U.S. legislative process once again revealed its quirkiness as a Budget Bill doubled as a once-in-a-decade energy initiative.
I know that 2016 will be full of challenges for the U.S. economy and energy industries, and I am still waiting for a presidential candidate to embrace the balance of my “five policy initiatives” list! My hope is that some of this end of the year momentum will carry over to 2016.
Have a great New Year and I look forward to being in touch next year.