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American Energy Coalition Update

The AEC has been busy getting the word out, online and over the air.

By Thomas J. Tubman

The American Energy Coalition’s mission is: “To respond to the challenges faced by the heating oil industry today, and in the future, through a constant, sustained, unified message and all-inclusive marketing program.”

The AEC pursues this mission in a variety of ways, most of which you are probably well aware of. Bill inserts, data sheets, the creation of radio commercials, the sponsorship of regional radio campaigns, our weekly e-Alerts that draw attention to topics of interest to the heating oil industry, and so on. Perhaps one of the more important AEC marketing initiatives is our website.  The website is rich with pro-oilheat information that is a valuable resource for retailers and homeowners alike. It also has a treasure-trove of truthful data on natural gas that the utilities, and the natural gas industry more broadly, would prefer not to discuss. All of our e-Alerts are archived on the site and there are also pages devoted to: the value provided by full-service dealers; conservation; pricing; science and research; safety; truth vs. myth; service; and the environment.  The site is also interactive and can be used to research energy-related topics. By entering a search term you can find information like the Cornell Study that concluded burning coal to generate electricity is better for the environment than burning natural gas from fracked wells; or you can find the NORA/NBB report to Congress that shows ultra-low sulfur heating oil with a two percent biodiesel component is cleaner-burning than natural gas. You can find information on almost any energy-related subject you are looking for. If you haven’t visited the AEC website recently, I urge you to do so. Encourage your customer service representatives and front-line people to do the same.

One AEC activity you may not know about is our pro-oilheat outreach. Certainly, we have been at trade shows, annual meetings and conferences with presentations discussing AEC activities and sometimes discussing other energy industry subjects. In October, AEC was asked to represent the Berks Schuylkill Oil Heat Association in Pennsylvania during hour-long radio interviews at radio stations in Reading and Pottsville to discuss energy issues with a pro-oilheat focus. This is the third year that AEC has been asked to represent the BSOHA in these interviews, which have been well received by the association’s members and local radio listeners.

One of the key aspects of these radio interviews is the AEC’s, and the BSOHA’s, ability to direct the conversations. Prior to the interviews, the AEC prepares questions and answers focusing on the topics we want to discuss: pipeline safety; supply; price; production; environmental issues, and the like.  Three years ago, natural gas expansion projects, oil-to-gas conversions and the spread between oil and gas prices were the focus. This year, the issues that were central to the interviews were: lower heating oil pricing; the environmental benefits of ULSHO and Bioheat; and the glut of crude oil worldwide, caused by increases in U.S. oil production, which promises to keep oil prices low. One subject that hasn’t received much press—two new, recent, crude oil discoveries here in the U.S.—did generate considerable interest this year among the radio hosts, retailers and the public. If you haven’t seen any news reports on these two new discoveries, Apache Corp., Houston, Texas, announced in early September that it had a major new find in Texas that it is calling “Alpine High.” And in early October Caelus Energy LLC, Dallas, Texas, announced a new discovery in Alaska, 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Apache says the size of its newly discovered reserves is at least two billion barrels; and Caelus says the size of its discovery is 1.8 to 2.4 billion barrels. The Alaska find is particularly important to the Trans Alaska Pipeline, which is in danger of freezing up as volumes from the North Slope wane. So this is good news for Alaska’s North Slope, which had been looking for new volumes to keep the oil flowing. AEC has reported on both of these stories through its e-Alerts. More information on both of these discoveries can be found on the AEC website.

So please, do yourself a favor, and take a few minutes to visit http://americanenergycoalition.com/

Thomas J. Tubman is the executive director of the American Energy Coalition.

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