EPA chief: “Responsible” natural gas development is a key part of our climate strategy

posted at 8:01 pm on August 14, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

It’s the same sort of tone the Obama administration has been sounding for awhile now — Obama’s new Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has been saying that natural gas can be an important “bridge fuel” as we wend our way to the cleaner, greener technologies of the future — but I’ve still got one eyebrow cocked wondering exactly what it is that “responsible” development is supposed to mean. It’s a slightly more approachable code word for regulation, obviously, but the extent of whatever regulations they have planned (or will eventually invent) is still unclear.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy said natural-gas production — with the right safeguards — is a major piece of Obama administration efforts to combat global warming.

“Responsible development of natural gas is an important part of our work to curb climate change and support a robust clean energy market at home,” she said Wednesday at a speech in Colorado, according to prepared remarks.

The comments are part of a wider administration effort to cast the U.S. gas production boom as a way to help slow global warming.

They come two weeks after Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz rejected claims that natural gas isn’t helping in the fight against warming due to releases of the potent greenhouse gas methane at wells, transport and processing sites.

The EPA’s attempts at linking groundwater contamination with hydraulic fracturing and subsequently provide excuses for more regulations hasn’t been going too well, and it definitely does sound like they’d like to cautiously market the (ahem, very free-market driven and carbon emission-reducing) shale-gas revolution and not get in its way as part of their (otherwise wimpy, expensive, and top-down) climate strategy, but I’d never put it past the Obama administration to come up with new ways to retard the growth of a burgeoning and economically successful drilling industry — inadvertent or otherwise.

For instance, the DOE did finally approve a third export permit for liquified natural gas last week (companies are required to obtain special permission for exporting LNG to countries with whom the U.S. doesn’t already have certain free-trade agreements), but the general process is moving achingly slowly at the expense of some very real opportunity costs. Via Reuters:

The Obama administration on Wednesday approved natural gas exports from a third U.S. facility, the second permit issued in about three months, triggering debate over whether the review of a long backlog of export applications is picking up steam.

The export terminal in Lake Charles, Louisiana, was given a conditional license from the Department of Energy to ship liquefied natural gas to all countries. The terminal is backed by BG Group Plc and Energy Transfer Partners LP’s Southern Union Co. …

The decision came nearly three months after Freeport LNG’s Quintana Island, Texas, terminal got the go-ahead. This exceeded the eight-week wait that an Energy Department official recently suggested might be necessary between each of the nearly two dozen pending applications. But it still may set the stage for a more predictable review process going forward.

“I think over the next several months we will see the administration move forward with further approvals, particularly now that there is a new energy secretary in place, and the pace at which this happens could also pick up,” said Jason Bordoff, director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and former adviser to President Barack Obama.

One would hope so.


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

“Responsible”

Enough to keep our political cronies/donors happy.

PappyD61 on August 14, 2013 at 8:05 PM

I’ve still got one eyebrow cocked wondering exactly what it is that “responsible” development is supposed to mean.

My guess is it means “None”…or as little as they can possibly get away with.

Because very few corrupt Obama cronies are in natural gas…

AUINSC on August 14, 2013 at 8:08 PM

No way that isn’t a dude pretending to be a chick.

Happy Nomad on August 14, 2013 at 8:10 PM

dammit HN – I was going to ask “who’s the dude in the picture’…

affenhauer on August 14, 2013 at 8:13 PM

To repeat a truth I once heard somewhere else. “You lie!”

Oldnuke on August 14, 2013 at 8:13 PM

You never know what to make of the ecoloons, they used to be for natural gas because of the smaller CO2 footprint, but now there are a lot of them that are ranting against n gas. An excerpt from The American Thinker’s Why Environmental Professionals Hate All of the Above:

What’s behind this change of heart about natural gas? Maybe it’s the need to continue the struggle. Admitting that natural gas is clean and that America has enough of it to power the country for a century — where would that leave the leaders of environmental groups that now raise hundreds of millions in donations? It might leave them having to make a living like everyone else.

Maybe the environmental pros are more interested in their own survival than that of the planet. To maintain their constituency’s support and the generous donations that go with it, environmental groups must always protest something. And to expand their donor base, they must expand their protest. If coal, oil, and natural gas are “dirty,” so are hydro and ethanol, and, soon enough, wind, solar, and biomass may be as well. There is literally no end to the anti-growth agenda of the environmental left.

anotherJoe on August 14, 2013 at 8:18 PM

The environment needs to be protected from that evolutionary gaffe in the photo. WTF is that??

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 14, 2013 at 8:24 PM

Responsible and the Obama Administration should not be used in the same sentence.

DAT60A3 on August 14, 2013 at 8:25 PM

“Responsible” natural gas development is a key part of our climate strategy

Says the walking, talking bag of gas who was appointed by a walking, talking bag of gass.

predator on August 14, 2013 at 8:25 PM

“Responsible” translates to

We’ll allow it to be exported (by our friends and donors who will make sure we get our cut), but never allow it to be used here. We intend to make fossil fuels, nuclear power, and hydroelectric power not merely expensive, but extinct, so that you peasants have no choice but to worship our Green Apotheosis.

And when you freeze to death in the hard winters that we pretend aren’t coming (because our AGW religion does not allow them to exist), we will sing hosannas of praise. Less grotty groundlings polluting Holy Mother Gaia- and interfering with our plans for newer, bigger, better, and more beautiful…..

Golf courses.

It’s easy to figure them out. Just postulate the most dogmatic, irrational, corrupt, borderline psychotic progression of mental processes you can visualize- and then double it.

You’ll be at about 50% of the insanity they actually promulgate.

clear ether

eon

eon on August 14, 2013 at 8:25 PM

gas

predator on August 14, 2013 at 8:26 PM

They’ll subsidize it by revenue they’ll get after taxing its competing fuels.

I see the investment Pilot/Flying J made with these natural gas islands at their truck stops and I know they must have a secret agreement with the government. It must have cost them a billion dollars to construct all that and I don’t think they’ve pumped a drop, yet. I suspect some cronyism is going on.

Buddahpundit on August 14, 2013 at 8:26 PM

So when will King Barry open federal lands to exploration? When will we be drilling off-shore again?

………………………crickets………………………..

GarandFan on August 14, 2013 at 8:31 PM

WTF is that??

It’s a human being, which is more than I can say for you, troll.

Mmm...Burritos on August 14, 2013 at 8:32 PM

“Responsible” aka “sustainable” aka regulated out of existence

petefrt on August 14, 2013 at 8:38 PM

gas
predator on August 14, 2013 at 8:26 PM

gass works too. Like gassbag.

VegasRick on August 14, 2013 at 8:38 PM

I no longer trust wide swaths of our Government.

Bmore on August 14, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Me thinks he/she speaks and
( ruffles and flourishes ! ) ,
its all fake .

Lucano on August 14, 2013 at 8:55 PM

I can’t believe that’s a woman.

bw222 on August 14, 2013 at 8:59 PM

That’s a rodeo clown…

d1carter on August 14, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Reason #10 to vote for a Democrat.

“Because I think that it’s better to pay billions to people who hate us for their oil, but not drill our own because it might upset some endangered beetle.”

Oldnuke on August 14, 2013 at 10:06 PM

…she’s got gas alright!

KOOLAID2 on August 14, 2013 at 11:36 PM

Stop pretending that they give a shiite about any of it. The regs coming out this year alone will kill all sorts of industries. FGD/MCW Effluent Guidelines (ELGs) and Clean Water Act 316(b) (intake structure) rules coming out this year will cost at least the power plants a ton of money (those that survive it). Coal plants that can’t adapt will probably be dead. There’s still a fight going on, but because of the election it’s probably moot. Natural gas is next on the list – don’t forget that Dear Leader decided to pass the carbon regs by fiat. Look for your utility bills to go up mucho

specialkayel on August 15, 2013 at 1:45 AM

A lot of this still doesn’t make any sense. The DOE just authorized a permit for an LNG export terminal in Louisiana after the second one was issued for Texas. But most of the new, “fracked” natural gas is either from the Marcellus shale formation in PA and OH, or from the Bakken formation in ND and MT. A few years ago, then-Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska negotiated a deal to send natural gas by pipeline from Alaska through Canada to the lower 48.

The 2010 regulations on CO2 emissions from power plants essentially prohibit the construction of new fossil-fuel power plants, INCLUDING gas-fired power plants, which would cut CO2 emissions by half if gas-fired power replaced coal-fired power. If there is a lot of natural gas coming out of PA and OH, why not use it to generate power in the Northeast instead of piping it to LA and TX for export? If Obama’s EPA would get out of the way, that’s exactly what the free market would do.

Or if we want to export gas from PA and OH, why not set up LNG terminals in places like Baltimore or Philly? Meanwhile, in New England, we’re IMPORTING natural gas from Trinidad via an LNG terminal in New Brunswick (Canada).

Natural gas is imported from Trinidad via Canada into New England, while gas from PA and OH is exported through LA and TX. What’s wrong with this picture???

Steve Z on August 15, 2013 at 9:43 AM

How ’bout some ‘responsible’ being added before gifting/grifting to solar and windmills? hmmmm,

Kissmygrits on August 15, 2013 at 10:21 AM

“It’s the same sort of tone the Obama administration has been sounding for awhile now — Obama’s new Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has been saying that natural gas can be an important “bridge fuel” as we wend SPEND our way to the cleaner, greener technologies of the future —”

Fixed it for you.

brainy435 on August 15, 2013 at 10:29 AM

No way that isn’t a dude pretending to be a chick.

Happy Nomad on August 14, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Strains of Aerosmith in the background….

jclittlep on August 15, 2013 at 11:45 AM