By all means, let’s hold up this natural-gas export study a little more

posted at 2:41 pm on January 10, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Another day, another Democrat with a suggestion for ways in which the United States can cut off its nose to spite its face.

The federal government currently has holds placed on the export of liquified natural gas (LNG) to countries with which we do not already have special free-trade agreements, and while over a dozen outstanding applications to do so from energy companies wait in the wings, the Department of Energy was stalling to give more time to a report they commissioned to determine whether more widespread exporting of LNG would be in the United States’ overall interests (which is just plain silly, since the U.S. government actively supports exports in other economic sectors — demonstrating just how willing our lawmakers are to bend over backwards for well-monied special interests rather than the long-run general welfare).

The findings were repeatedly delayed (until after the election, cough), but the final report ultimately concluded that — shocker – free trade is not a zero-sum game, and that the further export of natural gas would be a boon to the United States in terms of productive private-sector job creation and economic growth (not to mention some possible geopolitical benefits!). Opponents (on behalf of environmentalist and niche manufacturing interests) took the protectionist tack and claimed that allowing exports might raise domestic prices, but there is ever-mounting evidence that, as ever, more free trade usually leads to more net wealth in general:

The Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions predicts exports of natural gas would boost domestic prices only slightly, while lowering them for several U.S. allies, according to a report released today.

“Our allies get help. The U.S. economy benefits. And some folks we have more strained relations with take a little bit of a hit, so it seems like a win all the way around,” said Peter Robertson, former vice chairman of Chevron’s board of directors and an independent senior advisor to the oil and gas group at Deloitte LLP.

The report, “Exporting the American Renaissance: Global impacts of LNG exports from the United States,” was released Tuesday, the third in a series of reports dealing with natural gas.

So, what seems to be the trouble? …I’m sure I don’t know, via The Hill:

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wants the Energy Department (DOE) to re-do a natural-gas export study to address “shortcomings,” setting the stage for a likely hearing on the matter.

Wyden, who chairs the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, said he is concerned the DOE-commissioned report by NERA Consulting failed to properly assess market demand and exports’ impact on natural gas prices.

“Although the NERA study acknowledges that some sectors of the economy will be hurt by exports, the NERA study fails to fully assess the impacts of rising natural gas prices on homeowners and businesses,” Wyden wrote in a Thursday letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

The report concluded natural-gas exports would yield a net economic benefit. It also said the economic activity from exports would outweigh modest price increases that concern some Democrats and the manufacturing industry.

Fortunately for the energy industry, it looks like the Obama administration is preparing, albeit slowly, to perhaps approve some of these applications, but if the Department of Energy is seriously supposed to take up more of everybody’s time and effort coming to a conclusion of which everyone is already aware because certain special interests didn’t like the answer they got, who knows what kind of needless hurdles through which they’ll keep making the domestic energy industry jump.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Another day, another Democrat with a suggestion for ways in which the United States can cut off its nose to spite its face.

Well, isn’t that the whole point of Dem policy?

hawkeye54 on January 10, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Fortunately for the energy industry, it looks like the Obama administration is preparing, albeit slowly, to perhaps approve some of these applications,

No they won’t. That would be the logical choice, and President Choom’s administration is illogical.

RoadRunner on January 10, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Anyone who thinks Obama WANTS the economy to get any better is insane.

He is the economy’s George Wallace, standing in the business doorway PREVENTING people from going to work.

wildcat72 on January 10, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Nothing a campaign contribution wouldn’t fix.

Archivarix on January 10, 2013 at 2:49 PM

NERA Consulting will be paid with an IOU.

Jabberwock on January 10, 2013 at 2:52 PM

The problem for the natural gas exports to Europe from Eastern states with Marcellus Shale gas deposits in basically the liberals control the Atlantic ports — i.e., you can’t build an LNG export site around New York Harbor, Delaware Bay or the upper part of Chesapeake Bay without running into environmental activists and states run by Democrats who are beholden to special interest groups like the enviros.

You pretty much have to go down to Norfolk to get to a port area where you wouldn’t have a major concentration of liberals trying to stick their collective fingers in the natural gas pipelines to the port. Virginia does have some shale gas areas where it could directly benefit, but it’s going to be tough to run a more direct line and have a loading area on the Atlantic that would be closer for gas production areas in Ohio, Pennsylvania and even the northern parts of West Virginia.

jon1979 on January 10, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Please, the naive joke that the TRAITOR-in-chief, has the best interest of this country or its people at heart, is BS! The Butcher of Benghazi has been & will continue to heard, you peons, to European Socialist Slavery! The more the POS Occutarding the White House succeeds in his agenda, the more likely, it will take a live fire Civil War, to correct & get our Freedoms back(If we ever do)! The Murderer-in-chief, Benedict Obama will continue his Ideological destruction of this country. 100yrs. of failure is not enough and who accept it & do nothing are the ones responsible. The TRAITOR told you directly he was going to “fundamentally change” this country and he did. Enjoy your Socialism and the many deaths it will cause!

http://www.paratisiusa.blogspot.com

God Bless America!

paratisi on January 10, 2013 at 2:53 PM

I was wondering when bho/team/epa was going to do this? TX has so much lpg that it really NEEDS to move it and get paid. I’m sure many other states are in the same mess and we have this anti-American bho and team trying to stop anything they don’t want and to help foto’s!
L

letget on January 10, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Might be going out on a limb here, but I’m predicting a troll-free thread.

CurtZHP on January 10, 2013 at 2:58 PM

I have one message for these jackholes: Get The Frack Out Of The Way.

FiveG on January 10, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Just more evidence that government is the problem.

Charlemagne on January 10, 2013 at 3:13 PM

How much economic damage does government and their eco-Marxist supporters need to inflict upon us before someone starts making an issue of it?

How much federal money do all these obstructionist, watermelon, eco-fanatics receive from taxpayers?

Charlemagne on January 10, 2013 at 3:16 PM

The only thing that matters to this administration is punishing the country and as a consequence the majority of voters who made this “presidency” possible. Ahhh….. the irony.

Idiots. All of them who voted for this freak.

It is complete insanity. And this administration will do nothing to benefit the working class unless they are union members.

This is the Chicago Thug administration run wild with celebrity Hip-Hop degradation.

We once had a country that was a Shining Hill for all.

Now we have a phucking Banana Republic.

Cody1991 on January 10, 2013 at 3:33 PM

The problem for the natural gas exports to Europe from Eastern states with Marcellus Shale gas deposits in basically the liberals control the Atlantic ports — i.e., you can’t build an LNG export site around New York Harbor, Delaware Bay or the upper part of Chesapeake Bay without running into environmental activists and states run by Democrats who are beholden to special interest groups like the enviros.

jon1979 on January 10, 2013 at 2:52 PM

You’ve got that right!!! A few years ago, before the Marcellus Shale began gas production, power companies in Connecticut were lobbying for an LNG terminal in the Long Island Sound (halfway between the coasts of CT and northern Long Island) in order to IMPORT natural gas from tankers from Caribbean islands, mostly from Trinidad. But the project was killed almost singlehandedly by the CT State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who now “represents” the state in the U.S. Senate. Due to opposition from nearly all the New England states, the natural-gas import terminal had to be built in Nova Scotia about 50 miles from the Maine border, then piped back southward into New England, and natural-gas customers here had to pay import taxes to Canada.

Had the terminal been built back then, it wouldn’t have been difficult to change the direction of flow so that LNG could be loaded FROM a U.S. pipeline into tankers bound for gas-poor countries such as Spain or France, although the British may decide to fill that void with their new-found shale-gas resources under the North Sea.

Still, since there was a natural-gas shortage a few short years ago, that begs the question, why are we thinking about exporting natural gas instead of using it ourselves? If the Marcellus Shale has greatly increased our national supply of natural gas, should we not be building more gas-fired power plants in the Northeast (which burn more cleanly than coal- or oil-fired power plants), and offering incentives to homeowners to switch from oil-burning to gas-burning furnaces, thereby reducing the demand for imported oil?

Regarding the gas-fired power plants, the impediment comes from the Obama Administration itself, whose “rules” instituted by Lisa Jackson on CO2 emissions make it prohibitive to permit (or re-permit) a gas-fired power plant producing more than 80 MW of electricity. The main problem is that most commercial gas turbines produce over 200 MW, and most gas-fired power plants use several of them in parallel to adjust for diurnal and seasonal changes in demand.

Total CO2 emissions could be sharply reduced (if that is considered a worthwhile goal, but that’s another issue) by substituting gas-fired for coal-fired power plants wherever possible. But Lisa Jackson’s poorly-conceived “rule” has shut down permitting of ALL fossil-fuel power plants, INCLUDING gas-fired power plants, which are the cleanest of them all, including for emissions of real pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and particulates. So, now that we have an abundant energy resource, we end up exporting it instead of using it to generate cheap electricity, due to Lisa Jackson’s ignorance of economics and obsession with soda pop bubbles.

Will Odumbo’s next EPA Administrator have the wisdom to rescind this counterproductive and self-defeating rule, or will we continue to cut off our noses to spite our faces?

Steve Z on January 10, 2013 at 3:42 PM

If the libtards really think natural gas is so evil, then wouldn’t sending it far away be a GOOD thing?

logis on January 10, 2013 at 3:46 PM

…took the protectionist tack and claimed that allowing exports might raise domestic prices,…

And low gas prices will decrease supply. In the area I work (Barnett Shale) the rig count is down to 35 drilling for gas. The peak 4-5 years ago at higher prices was 200 rigs.

We could get back to 200 rigs and produce a lot more gas with a modest increase in gas prices, but as it is here and in other shale gas fields, drilling is falling way off because prices are too low to economically produce the gas.

iurockhead on January 10, 2013 at 3:46 PM

You know, if I were a poor country like, say, The Bahamas or Aruba, I’d invite the companies to run a pipeline to my little island and have them build an LNG terminal there. Offshore it, folks! When are we going to figure out that the U.S. government wants us to be subservient peons with no source of income except food stamps?

JoseQuinones on January 10, 2013 at 3:54 PM

exports might raise domestic prices,

That is true, and there is no need for that to happen, if the government would stop restricting everyone.

It definitely will raise domestic prices if they are not able to increase regular supplies here, because there is a higher price being paid elsewhere for LNG than for our domestic natural gas, but the natural gas does not magically go to the places that need it, and it costs money to get it there. That is why they tell me, I am here in the US, natural gas is cheap, and it is not in my house.

To run the lines they would charge about $50K to run it to my house. Cheaper if others wanted it too. Has anyone else heard that?

I would beware of speculators wanting to high jack our American natural gas because they can get more money for it elsewhere. Right now, I don’t think it is easy to send it.

Fleuries on January 10, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Facepalm.

Funny, I picture them in a circle, palms elsewhere.

Bmore on January 10, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Barry hasn’t found a ‘job’ yet that he’s not willing to kill. Hey! Want some food stamps?

GarandFan on January 10, 2013 at 5:41 PM

It is not simple desire to damage the US economy and destroy all investment returns.

George Soros and Warren Buffett and Jay Z are allowed to make money.

IlikedAUH2O on January 10, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Let’s see if I understand this it is okay if electric prices necessarily skyrocket but a rise in natural gas prices isn’t so good. Just a wee dichotomy here.

chemman on January 10, 2013 at 6:50 PM

JugEars ‘people’ have to get in place first…to profit.

KOOLAID2 on January 11, 2013 at 12:03 AM

Why is Wyden, from Oregon for God’s sake, heading up the Energy Committee. Let’s see Oregon has trees, no coal, no gas, no oil. I’ll give you hydro-electric only because the Columbia River marks the northern Oregon state line with Washington. What the hell does he want, the U.S. to rely on wood for energy (non-polluting of course). Is there any wonder why no one, and I do mean no one, has any faith in the Congress? What a bunch of idiots.

georgeofthedesert on January 11, 2013 at 3:38 PM