WaPo: Do the right thing. Export more natural gas.

posted at 8:41 pm on May 30, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Because of our large, over-involved, and market-distorting federal bureaucracy that proclaims to posses the all-knowing wisdom necessary for determining the selective cases in which free trade is or is not of net benefit for the American people — rather than instead allowing consumers, businesses, and the free market together to effortlessly self-determine those oh-so-difficult cases — the battle over whether or not to allow more energy companies to export natural gas to foreign markets is still raging on just as fiercely as ever. The fact that the U.S. government has so many rules and regulations that at one turn actively support and promote free trade for some industries but then constructs dicey trade barriers for others is a truly impressive testament to the foothold of special interests, and there are all kinds of parties with a dog in the liquified natural gas (LNG) export fight.

The main argument against increasing natural gas’s export capacity goes something like this: Allowing American companies to sell to foreign markets would expose natural gas to heightened demand, which in turn would raise the price of natural gas for domestic consumers as well. …Which is a singularly stupid discouraging argument, seeing as how these American companies, the larger number of  employees they would hire, and the American economy at large would be the beneficiaries of these higher prices. What these export opponents really mean to say is that niche manufacturing, chemical, and miscellaneous interests that use a lot of natural gas (not to mention the environmentalist types who’d like to see the government put a stop to this pesky shale gas boom) are applying steady lobbying pressure to prevent prices from rising, even though multiple studies have concluded that the effect would only be a modest one.

Even the NYT has already thrown their support behind the idea of furthering natural gas exports, and the Washington Post is on board, too, as they describe in a recent editorial pointing out the industry’s little victory last week with the Department of Energy:

On May 17, the Energy Department gave a Texas company permission to export natural gas, basing its decision in part on a study it commissioned that concluded the country would benefit from expanding gas exports — in terms of its trade balance, incomes and economic growth. In every scenario the experts examined, those benefits outweighed the potential downside — exports putting modest upward pressure on natural gas prices. In fact, the authors found, gas prices probably would rise by some 65 cents per thousand cubic feet — about 13 percent above a business-as-usual scenario and far below what Americans were paying for gas only a few years ago. In other words, the effect on consumers would be relatively small, and U.S. manufacturers would continue to enjoy a competitive advantage relative to those in countries with higher gas prices.

Even so, the critics may be finding more success than that announcement suggested. Last Tuesday, the Energy Department’s new head, Ernest Moniz, said that he will conduct his own “review” of the available analyses — though he won’t commission any more studies — before issuing any more export permits, a score of which are pending before his department. He said that he had made a “commitment” to do so to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the chairman of the committee that considered his nomination and an opponent of gas exports. Even more ominously, Mr. Moniz said that, pending his review, “everything’s on the table.”

While the Obama administration takes their sweet time trying to come up with more reasons to delay and ways they can appease the relevant business and radical green lobbies and the politicians who cater to them, however, there are at least twenty other export applications just twiddling their thumbs on the energy-development sidelines. …I find myself nonplussed. Not only is natural gas the main factor in the United States’ lately decreased carbon emissions, but we’re currently sitting pretty with a labor force participation rate of a pathetic 63 percent, while energy companies champ at the bit to merely be allowed to do perfectly legitimate and competitive business in the global market. What a mess.


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Don’t that guy have a wife who could tell him, “honey it’s just not working for me”?

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Welcome to the land of INSANIA (pronounced as N-Say-née-yah)

Formerly known as the United States of America.

PappyD61 on May 30, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Jeepers, creepers, where’d he buy that hair?

claudius on May 30, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Of course. I fully believe if the libs could sell off all of our resources to China and other countries they would. All while they would be lecturing us on how evil our resources are.

They would put oil rigs where libraries and hospitals now stand if they could… just as long as not one single drop went to America.

JellyToast on May 30, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Rule of thumb:

If liberals like it, do the opposite.

Liam on May 30, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Can’t we just go back to the old days of being one with nature, life was so much better when we were living in peat huts and dying of strep or a broken limb.

Bishop on May 30, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Can’t we just go back to the old days of being one with nature, life was so much better when we were living in peat huts and dying of strep or a broken limb.

Bishop on May 30, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Oh we can, but the Lords and Ladies will get the nicer quarters.

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Jeepers, creepers, where’d he buy that hair?

claudius on May 30, 2013 at 8:46 PM

I swear I thought this guy was a new Mike Myers character.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on May 30, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Contrary to my normal capitalist ideals…

I’m actually in favor of NOT allowing the exporting of natural gas… but not for the reason you think.

I recently read an article that mentioned how corporations in Europe are eyeing moving to the US based on cheap energy costs, which is entirely due to the saturation of the natural gas market. If we were serious about encouraging economic activity, we could become the “China” to European corporations… with companies moving operations here and ramping up the job market.

But of course, our politicians would never allow that…

dominigan on May 30, 2013 at 8:54 PM

I swear I thought this guy was a new Mike Myers character.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on May 30, 2013 at 8:53 PM

I bet you thought he’s hot. I know you have a dark side. ;)

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2013 at 8:55 PM

I bet you thought he’s hot. I know you have a dark side. ;)

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Well, not as dreamy as Mitch McConnell, but since I haven’t seen either with his shirt off…

:P

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on May 30, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Increased demand may lead to higher prices. That’s simple economics.
But more certainly, it would lead to more exploration and production.
So the supply side increases too.

The underestimation of the supply side of fossil fuels has been the problem for a while now.

connertown on May 30, 2013 at 9:01 PM

Wow, the liberals sure have a lock on ugly, creepy, and downright strange looking creatures don’t they?

D-fusit on May 30, 2013 at 9:01 PM

I swear I thought this guy was a new Mike Myers character.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on May 30, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Yeah, I was just thinking that it’s too bad this guy doesn’t have any characteristics that would lend themselves to mockery by SNL (are there any other comedy shows left these days?). He’s just too bland to bother with.

CitizenEgg on May 30, 2013 at 9:02 PM

I’m for more coal exports. keep the gas here.

gerrym51 on May 30, 2013 at 9:04 PM

Well, not as dreamy as Mitch McConnell, but since I haven’t seen either with his shirt off…

:P

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on May 30, 2013 at 9:00 PM

You are a sick woman. Must be related somehow to the ziffel tribe.

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2013 at 9:05 PM

Is there anything leftism has ever gotten right?

crrr6 on May 30, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Heres what I don’t get. If increase demand causes prices to increase couldn’t the producer raise prices on exports only and leave domestic prices low to benefit our country? I mean a patriotic American loving producer that is and not just a money grabbing evil capitalist pig. I mean in a true free market system wouldn’t that be possible?

D-fusit on May 30, 2013 at 9:09 PM

How would increased exportation, higher demand and more expensive energy bills each month help Americans exactly? I mean the huge percentages who would have no stake in the natural gas industry other than paying a higher bill each month? Now, if we were to be like some oil exporting nation whose citizens pay .10 cents a gallon while the rest of the world pays $3.75 or 6.23 Euros a gallon then maybe we should export. But lathering the world with cheaper energy at the expense of our own more expensive energy is bollocks. Our gas for our people for our benefit and our wallets. For once, just once, eff the world. Also, we are long overdue to demand a deep discount in the oil we import considering it is largely OUR defense spending that funds our Navy that allows oil to travel the globe largely without incident.

JasperBallbaggins on May 30, 2013 at 9:09 PM

CitizenEgg on May 30, 2013 at 9:02 PM

That’s why there’s Talk Radio: To boldly mock where TV outlets are too liberal to tread!

;)

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on May 30, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Wow, the liberals sure have a lock on ugly, creepy, and downright strange looking creatures don’t they?

D-fusit on May 30, 2013 at 9:01 PM

What’s worse is that liberals demand we prefer them over women you’d love being seen with in the mall.

Liberals want you stuck with some feminist/nazi b*tch who hates men, instead of you proudly telling your Dad who loves you, “Hey! Look at who I’m dating!”

Liam on May 30, 2013 at 9:12 PM

I swear I thought this guy was a new Mike Myers character.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on May 30, 2013 at 8:53 PM

He looks like Lt. Mauser from the Police Academy movies.

RickB on May 30, 2013 at 9:14 PM

You are a sick woman. Must be related somehow to the ziffel tribe.

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2013 at 9:05 PM

1/18th Razorback Hog on my grandpappy’s side. Aren’t the ziffel’s mostly pot-bellies?

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on May 30, 2013 at 9:14 PM

hard to get past the ridiculous hair on that guy…just sayin’

workingclass artist on May 30, 2013 at 9:15 PM

That’s why there’s Talk Radio: To boldly mock where TV outlets are too liberal to tread!

;)

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on May 30, 2013 at 9:10 PM

With that line, you just went to Page One of my Cool Book.

Can I have your baby? I’m a total slut, but I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

Liam on May 30, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Heres what I don’t get. If increase demand causes prices to increase couldn’t the producer raise prices on exports only and leave domestic prices low to benefit our country? I mean a patriotic American loving producer that is and not just a money grabbing evil capitalist pig. I mean in a true free market system wouldn’t that be possible?

D-fusit on May 30, 2013 at 9:09 PM

American loving producer A sells to American B for $1 and Foreigner C for $10.

The free market:

B sells to C for $9.

A sells to C for $9 and sells to B for $5.

B sells to C for $7.

A sells to C for $7 and sells to B for $7.

. . . and thereby hangs a tale.

Axe on May 30, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Like a fart in the wind.

Cloture on May 30, 2013 at 9:18 PM

What is going on with that guy’s hair?

rdbrewer on May 30, 2013 at 9:22 PM

…OH FOR GAWDS SAKES!….JUST LOOK at the GUY!

KOOLAID2 on May 30, 2013 at 9:24 PM

He looks like Lt. Mauser from the Police Academy movies.

RickB on May 30, 2013 at 9:14 PM

Ruh-Roh. I actually did think the Mauser character was a “cutie patooty” back in the day.

With that line, you just went to Page One of my Cool Book.

Can I have your baby? I’m a total slut, but I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

Liam on May 30, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Thanky! But sorry, Liam. Actual Husband still owes me for 3 decades of “Hamburger Tuesday” payments, thus I’m through with Wimpy-types who LOOK pregnant but never deliver the goods.

:P

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on May 30, 2013 at 9:24 PM

A sells to C for $7 and sells to B for $7.

. . . and thereby hangs a tale.

Axe on May 30, 2013 at 9:15 PM

That is the stage where greed comes into play. :-[

D-fusit on May 30, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Ernest Moniz, said that he will conduct his own “review” of the available analyses — though he won’t commission any more studies — before issuing any more export permits, a score of which are pending before his department. He said that he had made a “commitment” to do so to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the chairman of the committee that considered his nomination and an opponent of gas exports. Even more ominously, Mr. Moniz said that, pending his review, “everything’s on the table.”

TRANSLATION: NO MORE EXPORT PERMITS!

GarandFan on May 30, 2013 at 9:25 PM

1/18th Razorback Hog on my grandpappy’s side. Aren’t the ziffel’s mostly pot-bellies?

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on May 30, 2013 at 9:14 PM

Sweet, smoked Virginia’s best, kidnapped and taken to CA in 1865.

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Don’t that guy have a wife who could tell him, “honey it’s just not working for me”?

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2013 at 8:44 PM

I thought that was his wife.

Pazman on May 30, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Sweet, smoked Virginia’s best, kidnapped and taken to CA in 1865.

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Sounds divine! Now I’m gonna go make myself a honey ham sammich (no offense to you and the missus)

:D

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on May 30, 2013 at 9:35 PM

A Breck Girl wannabe from the 1960s.

Pazman on May 30, 2013 at 9:36 PM

That is the stage where greed comes into play. :-[

D-fusit on May 30, 2013 at 9:25 PM

You did say no greed. :)

I’m not sure that’s greed, though . . .

Anyway — answer’s “no,” I think. :) At least in this particular world.

. . . you might try tariffs.

Axe on May 30, 2013 at 9:38 PM

What is with this administration always appointing people that look like they belong in a Gore Vidal dinner party in the 1970′s?

Mimzey on May 30, 2013 at 9:42 PM

Jeepers, creepers, where’d he buy that hair?

claudius on May 30, 2013 at 8:46 PM

That is one scary looking pelt.

About the only thing that would make it more unconvincing is a chin strap.

CurtZHP on May 30, 2013 at 9:46 PM

What is that androgynous twit?

Jaibones on May 30, 2013 at 9:56 PM

About the only thing that would make it more unconvincing is a chin strap.

CurtZHP on May 30, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Lol…thats funny, right there.

Mimzey on May 30, 2013 at 9:56 PM

What is with this administration always appointing people that look like they belong in a Gore Vidal dinner party in the 1970′s?

Mimzey on May 30, 2013 at 9:42 PM

You are too kind. More like those weird Dali paintings.

Just learned sumpin. “I before E unless after C, except when spelling weird.”

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2013 at 9:57 PM

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2013 at 9:57 PM

You’re probably right.

Gotta love spell check..I wish they had “punctuation check”.. I just tend to throw in commas and junk every now and then :)

Mimzey on May 30, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Gotta love spell check..I wish they had “punctuation check”.. I just tend to throw in commas and junk every now and then :)

Mimzey on May 30, 2013 at 10:00 PM

There’s no grammar police hear or I wood be fired long ago. It’s the context of you’re characters.

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2013 at 10:07 PM

There’s no grammar police hear or I wood be fired long ago. It’s the context of you’re characters.

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2013 at 10:07 PMarnold ziffel on May 30, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Thanks Arnold..Ida ben to.

Mimzey on May 30, 2013 at 10:12 PM

You are too kind. More like those weird Dali paintings.

Just learned sumpin. “I before E unless after C, except when spelling weird.”

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2013 at 9:57 PM

s***. Everyone is uppin there game. And I just wanted two fish and play this summer.

Axe on May 30, 2013 at 10:15 PM

s***. Everyone is uppin there game. And I just wanted two fish and play this summer.

Axe on May 30, 2013 at 10:15 PM

Axe, your game is already up there. I just want to bee part of the Varsity.

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2013 at 10:24 PM

Axe, your game is already up there. I just want to bee part of the Varsity.

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2013 at 10:24 PM

. . . so . . . um . . . that was a nice thing to say. :) I’m not sure how to respond. I wasn’t expecting it. Kind of like crabs that time.

. . . hm. All right, what I’ll do is by this baitcast real, and . . . also, say . . . some book on french. And I’ll do both so I don’t get behind.

Axe on May 30, 2013 at 10:30 PM

JasperBallbaggins on May 30, 2013 at 9:09 PM

The money made from exporting the gas gets spent and the people who get it then spend it again the cycle continues until it benefits everyone or the government gets it greedy hands on the money.

Slowburn on May 31, 2013 at 1:06 AM

The Ben Franklin look is back!

mid_aged_man on May 31, 2013 at 6:19 AM

I wasn’t expecting it. Kind of like crabs that time.

BWAH HAA HAA HAA HAA HAA HAA HAA (oh jeez, yer killin me) snicker, snicker ….*choke* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

I have to quit reading your posts, I’m snorting too much coffee tru mi dose!!!

wolfplus3 on May 31, 2013 at 8:25 AM

My momma always said: Follow the money.

Guess who is a big exporter of Natural Gas?

Guess who therefore doesn’t want any competition in the market?

Guess who, like our liberal elite, has a soft spot in her heart for Marxism?

If you guessed Russia, go to the head of the class.

Bonus question: Who do you suppose is behind the anti-fracking movement?

Odysseus on May 31, 2013 at 8:35 AM

That’s the first man I have ever seen with a “bob” haircut, lol.

jeffn21 on May 31, 2013 at 10:28 AM

The Ben Franklin look is back!

mid_aged_man on May 31, 2013 at 6:19 AM

My reaction as well.

This is what happens when you reach into the wrong closet and come out with your wife’s wig.

timmytee on May 31, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Stop with the jazz hands!

Ward Cleaver on May 31, 2013 at 10:56 AM

This makes no sense whatsoever. For years we’ve heard people screaming that US oil imports cost $700 billion a year in our balance of payments. So, if we’ve suddenly found a huge supply of natural gas, let’s let the MARKET decide how we use it! If natural gas is much cheaper than oil, residents of cold climates will tend to switch from oil to gas heating, reducing the demand for heating oil, and enabling more crude to be converted to gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, thereby reducing America’s oil imports.

If it becomes cheaper to generate electricity from natural gas than coal, power companies will shut down coal plants to build gas-fired power plants (and probably cut CO2 emissions in half, and drastically reduce emissions of real pollutants like SO2 and particulates as well).

Several years ago, many projects to build offshore LNG terminals (for natural gas IMPORTS) in places like Boston Harbor and the Long Island Sound were scuttled to “protect the marine environment”. So, if we follow the WaPo’s logic, it damages the environment to IMPORT natural gas through offshore LNG terminals, but it doesn’t damage the environment to EXPORT natural gas through offshore LNG terminals? Don’t LNG terminals have the same effect on the environment regardless of which way the gas is flowing?

Steve Z on May 31, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Should gas companies be able to export LNG? OF course.

Is their inability to export helping the US economy? Probably.

Or have you missed those stories about European companies moving manufacturing to the US because of how much cheaper Natural Gas is here in the US?

Cheaper natural resources are a competitive advantage.

Greg Q on May 31, 2013 at 1:13 PM