More than 10 years covering energy and politics in The Lone Star State. 

“There are legitimate questions about whether our democratic system is fundamentally broken. Our elections are getting less free and fair, Congress and the courts are increasingly partisan, foreign nations are flooding society with misinformation, a deluge of money flows through our politics. And the economic mobility that made the American dream possible is vanishing.”

— New York Times editorial 1/20/20 explaining its choice to back for President of the United States “both the radical and realist models” in Democratic politics, Elizabeth Warren (“a gifted storyteller”) and Amy Klobuchar (“too early” to count her out). The Times cited health concerns for the exclusion of Bernie Sanders.

The TER Buzz:

EIA Forecasts Stable Energy Prices in 2020

By Alex Mills


January 23, 2020

Energy prices in the U.S. will be flat this year as production of crude oil and natural gas will set records, again, according to projections by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) at the Department of Energy.

EIA forecasts Brent crude oil spot prices, the international benchmark, will average $65 per barrel in 2020, compared with an average of $64 in 2019. EIA expects West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices will average about $5.50 per barrel lower than Brent prices through 2020, compared to about $7.35 in 2019.

U.S. regular gasoline retail prices averaged $2.60 per gallon in 2019, and EIA forecasts that they will average $2.63 in 2020.

EIA forecasts that Henry Hub natural gas spot prices will average $2.33 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2020, down from $2.57 in 2019….

Energy Wins In U.S.-China Trade Agreement

By Alex Mills


President Trump signed an agreement with China this week that will increase trade between the two countries in many sectors of the economy especially for agriculture, manufacturing and energy.

During the signing ceremony at the White House on Wednesday, Trump said the deal will mean some $200 billion dollars to U.S. economy. U.S. energy exports will increase $18.5 in 2020 and $33.9 billion in 2021 from current levels, according to the agreement.

China already imports a variety of hydrocarbons from the U.S., and its potential is much larger because of its growing economy and lack of production in China. China imported 84 million barrels of oil from the U.S. in 2018, which is 11 percent of total U.S. oil exports, according to the Energy Information Administration. The largest importers were Canada with 160 million barrels and South Korea with 88 million barrels.

Opening of new international markets would benefit U.S. producers in general and Texas producers specifically. Texas is the largest producer in the U.S. and it is located relatively close to export terminals on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Refiners and transporters would see business increase, also…..