Congresspeople to DOE: It’s time to let the natural-gas party get started

posted at 2:41 pm on September 25, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

The Obama administration has paid plenty of lip service to the quickly-burgeoning natural gas industry, as well they should — further natural gas development holds tremendous (and fully private-sector!) potential in terms of wealth-and-job creation, energy security, and bringing down our carbon footprint. But, spoiler-alert: The Obama administration’s words and the Obama administration’s deeds don’t always match up too well.

At the moment, the Department of Energy has holds via federal law on exports of liquified natural gas (LNG) to countries with which the U.S. doesn’t have special free-trade agreements, because they need to determine whether said exports would in fact be in the national interests — and, conveniently, the DOE announced last week that the commissioned report on the economics of LNG exports is going to be delayed until after the election (it was originally scheduled to be released last March, cough cough).

Certain Democrats and opponents of natural gas drilling argue that allowing our domestic LNG resources to be introduced to the competition of the global market would raise prices domestically, but time and time again, that sort of protectionist-thinking makes for some pretty horrendous economics. Sure, selling our LNG in a free and open market might raise the price we pay for it, but that’s even less than half of the story; within the economy as a whole, the influx of wealth, jobs, and economic growth would more than offset any negative effects of a price increase. On a net evaluation, we will all be richer — that’s what free trade does.

What’s more, it’s pretty hypocritical of us to be in the business of doing things like filing WTO complaints against China for their restrictions on exports of rare earth elements, which we need to make wind turbines, when we’re doing pretty much the same thing within our own country when it comes to natural gas. (And yes, by the way, you read that correctly — we need China to provide us with the means of producing the renewable energies that Barack Obama constantly tells us will help to make us energy independent. Galling, isn’t it?)

Ergo, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is trying to put more pressure on the Obama administration to get them to quit dragging their feet and allow American enterprise to do what it does best, via The Hill:

A bipartisan group of 16 House members from Heartland and Western states added their voices Monday to calls on the administration to expedite natural gas exports.

Lawmakers from Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming urged Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a letter to accelerate approval of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.

“[A]llowing natural gas — like other U.S. commodities — to have the opportunity to sell its product on the worldwide market will create new jobs and help balance our trade deficit,” the letter said. …

The letter follows on one sent by a bipartisan group of 44 lawmakers from Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas sent in August.

When you stop and think about it, the Obama administration’s relative lethargy on unleashing the natural-gas industry is pretty damned inexcusable. President Obama tells us that he wants jobs; he wants economic growth; he wants cleaner technology; blah blah blah. Well, here we are, sittin’ pretty on top of ever-expanding natural-gas reserves while our economy’s heartbeat shows only fluttering signs of life. Not okay.


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a bipartisan group of lawmakers is trying to put more pressure on the Obama administration to get them to quit dragging their feet and allow American enterprise to do what it does best

“Screw you guys. Is there a union involved?”

BacaDog on September 25, 2012 at 2:48 PM

President Obama tells us that he wants jobs; he wants economic growth; he wants cleaner technology; blah blah blah.

What Obama wants is America cut down to size.

Bitter Clinger on September 25, 2012 at 2:48 PM

IMO, there will be zero done on anything coming out of dc till the elections, and if bho is not re-elected, he will see to it every evil thing he/mo/jarrett can think of to crater the nation more till his worthless hind end is out of office!
L

letget on September 25, 2012 at 2:49 PM

I recently saw where matt duhmon is coming out with an anti-fracking movie. It’s choc full of blatant falsehoods about natural gas and those who support fracking. I hope it bombs hideously.

Hard Right on September 25, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Hilarious naivete. Like the DOE is just slack or inept, instead of actively evil, anti-capitalist and rabidly anti fossil fuel.

rayra on September 25, 2012 at 3:01 PM

When you stop and think about it, the Obama administration’s relative lethargy on unleashing the natural-gas industry

Sorry Ericka, that is not relative lethargy, it is intentional obstruction and obfuscation.

SWalker on September 25, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Q: What happens when the natural genius of a nation with the most Nobel Prizes in Science per capita also discovers an ocean of Natural Gas?

A: Bet on tectonic technological shifts to Natural Gas.

The State of Israel, with and without connection to the Western world, must achieve for itself independence in everything that is related to fuel that powers a vehicle. We are committed to doing our part in this struggle, because it is in our soul,” Landau said.

Terp Mole on September 25, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Mother Jones attacking Mia Love as anchor baby

ConservativePartyNow on September 25, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Whaddya mean “start” the gas party? We been gettin’ nothing but putrid noxious gas from those evil libturd gasbags.

stukinIL4now on September 25, 2012 at 3:10 PM

ConservativePartyNow on September 25, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Oh dear, is Mia doing good on her election/polls? Must be for this negative krap to come out?

Hang in Mia, you will be a great asset when you are elected to the house!
L

letget on September 25, 2012 at 3:11 PM

You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

Fracking has made a big impact in these towns from Williamsport the whole way down to the WV and OH borders, so naturally, Obama and Democrats oppose it.

forest on September 25, 2012 at 3:17 PM

President Obama tells us that he wants jobs; he wants economic growth; he wants cleaner technology; blah blah blah.

Barry excels at talking out of both sides of his mouth.

In other words, “The Smartest Man in the World” doesn’t have a freaking clue.

GarandFan on September 25, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Erika, WE have plenty of rare earth metals right here in the U.S. just try getting a permit for the mine, once again, we have the stuff, we just can’t use it(Keystone anyone?)
Bob

Bobnormal on September 25, 2012 at 3:26 PM

I believe “Congresscritters” is the politically correct term.

eforhan on September 25, 2012 at 3:28 PM

The Department of Obstructing Everything (DOE): just doing what it does best!

landlines on September 25, 2012 at 3:59 PM

I have a couple of spare cars laying around that I’m toying with making optionally NG powered. One is a fuel injected Isuzu Rodeo and one is a 1965 Thunderchicken.

I rode in a guy’s 2008 Ford Fusion that he could switch between NG and gasoline and I couldn’t tell the difference from where I sat. Anybody know where the information is on doing this? He was able to fuel from his meter at his house or fuel up at one of the few NG stations we have in town.

DanMan on September 25, 2012 at 4:05 PM

At the moment, the Department of Energy has holds via federal law on exports of liquified natural gas (LNG) to countries with which the U.S. doesn’t have special free-trade agreements, because they need to determine whether said exports would in fact be in the national interests — and, conveniently, the DOE announced last week that the commissioned report on the economics of LNG exports is going to be delayed until after the election (it was originally scheduled to be released last March, cough cough).

…delayed/democrat…synonymous!

KOOLAID2 on September 25, 2012 at 4:24 PM

DanMan on September 25, 2012 at 4:05 PM

A single patriot doing something that makes sense.

Here is a video on Rick Santelli of CNBC watching the conversion of a F-150 to a dual fuel of gasoline and NatGas. You can choose. It gets over 40 MP.

As far as your personal vehicles are concerned, there are shops with ads online. It is not brain surgery as soon as you find parts any mechanic can do the vehicle.

The problem is your sources. You need a home unit and few in your area. Call your local gas company. They will tell you it is up to Washington, DC.

A pragmatist doing what makes sense.

Avoid stock in electric car companies.

Find out where Soros is investing.

Bet that if Barack Obama wins, the progress will be stifled regardless of the conclusions of the LNG report.

If you burn anything, you contribute to global warming. So it is better to have the “clingers” at home and broke.

IlikedAUH2O on September 25, 2012 at 4:51 PM

hey Goldwater, where’s that link? I’ll look around in the meantime.

I know the local fueling stations pressurize to about 3,000psi but I don’t know if the vehicle needs that kind of design.

DanMan on September 25, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Sorry, you’ve got it all wrong. Should have suggested sending money to Brazil to speed up development of their natural gas production.
/

STL_Vet on September 25, 2012 at 7:09 PM