Sen. Menendez: Don’t even talk to me about allowing more oil exports

posted at 4:41 pm on December 18, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Last week, Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz finally, mercifully acknowledged the increasingly undeniable fact that the United States’ energy outlook is much changed from the 1970s scene in which oil disruptions and artificially induced “shortages” were enough to persuade policymakers into somehow thinking that more protectionism was a good idea. Moniz appeared, if noncommittally, to support the idea currently gaining some traction in Congress of possibly rolling back the decades-old export restrictions that largely prohibit American energy producers from selling their crude wares overseas — but it practically goes without saying that no rational, free-market-minded proposal that looks at peeling back the regulatory layers that selectively benefit niche interests ever comes without trumped-up objections, and here comes Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez bloviating with the typical anti-export talking points I could have predicted in my sleep.

Dear Mr. President:

I write to express my deep concerns over the recent comments of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, stating that your Administration is considering easing the ban on exporting domestically-produced crude oil. When Congress first enacted limits on crude exports in the 1970s following the oil embargo, these laws were designed to enhance American energy security and protect U.S. consumers from volatility and price spikes. Despite changes in the global energy market, these goals should remain priorities in our nation’s energy policy. Easing this ban might be a win for Big Oil, but it would hurt American consumers.

As you know, the world price of oil (otherwise known as the Brent crude price) is currently about $110 per barrel, while the American price is about $97 per barrel. The threshold question then, is why would we want to export oil and raise American oil prices to match the world’s oil price? Big Oil clearly wants to pad their record profits and fetch a higher price for their oil. ..

We must continue to keep domestically-produced crude here to lower prices for consumers, while aggressively working towards clean and renewable alternatives. Allowing for expanded crude exports would serve only to enhance the profits of Big Oil, and could force U.S. consumers to pay even more at the pump.

I would first of all point out that it actually is not necessarily a given that easing up on free-trade restrictions would in fact hike Americans’ prices at the pump, and that due to the limits on the type of oil we are domestically capable of refining, continued export restrictions will mean that a bunch of oil will just be left sittin’ pretty in the ground, of no use to anyone. Secondly, even if gasoline prices did end up increasing at home — it’s going to be OK. The increase in prices will be necessarily accompanied by a worthwhile boost in economic growth, because American producers and the many workers they employ will be able to reap the gains from these subsequently higher prices instead of having to restrict their market to a purely domestic and hence less competitive one. The WSJ gets it:

Opponents of exporting oil claim that lifting the ban would raise U.S. gasoline prices, but that misunderstands that oil is a global market. U.S. pump prices would continue to rise or fall with world oil prices regardless of exports. But lifting the ban would lead to more domestic production, which means more jobs in oil drilling and services and everything that goes along with such growth. See the booming Williston Basin in North Dakota or the Eagle Ford Formation in South Texas.

The opposition to lifting the ban will also play the energy “independence” card, but the best protection for America’s energy supply is more domestic production that exports would induce. Some of the opponents don’t want such production precisely because they want to stop the U.S. oil boom so world prices rise and renewable energy can replace fossil fuels. That’s what motivates Senator Ed Markey (D., Mass.) and others on the environmental left.

President Obama himself often includes “increased exports” as a means to bolster growth and employment in his incessant iterations of “economic pivots,” and pretending that the the free-trade benefits the federal government actively promotes in certain sectors (agriculture, for instance) are somehow inapplicable to the energy industry… literally makes no sense.


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Don’t talk to him about oil. Talk to him about lotion.

oldroy on December 18, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Underage illegal hooker?

AllahsNippleHair on December 18, 2013 at 4:43 PM

ihave no problem with overseas exports after we are truly energy independent.

Coal and natural gas aok to export.No to oil though.

gerrym51 on December 18, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Don’t talk to him about oil. Talk to him about lotion.

oldroy on December 18, 2013 at 4:42 PM

I like your style.

AllahsNippleHair on December 18, 2013 at 4:44 PM

He only does imports, live ones, of the illegal variety.

antipc on December 18, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Menendez is off camera but that’s who Boy Onesie is eyeing…

DanMan on December 18, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Post energy
Post growth
Post liberty
Post privacy
Post rule of law
Post justice
Post freedom of association
Post hope
Post America.

Brought to you by

Post Turtle.

Murphy9 on December 18, 2013 at 4:45 PM

I like your style.

AllahsNippleHair on December 18, 2013 at 4:44 PM

At this point, I can only make jokes about the state of our country. It’s become one big long running joke.

oldroy on December 18, 2013 at 4:45 PM

The Left’s war on the free market.

rbj on December 18, 2013 at 4:46 PM

I like your style.

AllahsNippleHair on December 18, 2013 at 4:44 PM

At this point, I can only make jokes about the state of our country. It’s become one big long running joke.

oldroy on December 18, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Well, we’ve been given a choice. No longer a red or blue pill.
It’s kool aid or hot chocolate.

AllahsNippleHair on December 18, 2013 at 4:47 PM

The Left’s war on the free market.

rbj on December 18, 2013 at 4:46 PM

He’s going to impose stiffening regulations on Dominican massage therapists?

oldroy on December 18, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Unless teenage Dominican girls are involved.

Ward Cleaver on December 18, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Well, we’ve been given a choice. No longer a red or blue pill.
It’s kool aid or hot chocolate.

AllahsNippleHair on December 18, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Hot chocolate with a shot of bourbon please.

oldroy on December 18, 2013 at 4:49 PM

“Hold on a minute”,(cupping hand over phone). “Chica, get up from there! What’s a guy gotta do to get a scotch and water here?” (back on phone) “What were we talking about, oil?”

Mason on December 18, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Just tell the geek that much of our oil would be exported to the Dominican Republic and Congress would probably have to appoint an official overseer to manage that particular trade with frequent visits.

Bishop on December 18, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Moniz appeared, if noncommittally, to support the idea currently gaining some traction in Congress of possibly rolling back the decades-old export restrictions that largely prohibit American energy producers from selling their crude wares overseas — but it practically goes without saying that no rational, free-market-minded proposal that looks at peeling back the regulatory layers that selectively benefit niche interests ever comes without trumped-up objections, and here comes Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez bloviating with the typical anti-export talking points I could have predicted in my sleep.

Eighty-four word sentence!

Akzed on December 18, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Well, we’ve been given a choice. No longer a red or blue pill.
It’s kool aid or hot chocolate.

AllahsNippleHair on December 18, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Hot chocolate with a shot of bourbon please.

oldroy on December 18, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Bourbon with a shot of hot chocolate.

AllahsNippleHair on December 18, 2013 at 4:52 PM

oldroy on December 18, 2013 at 4:45 PM

I have a buddy that does a whole lot of contract work in Russia. He’s there enough to be able to communicate pretty well, granted those he interacts with are also decent with engrish. He says cynicism towards g’ment is very widespread. He notes the growing trend here in relating this aspect of Russian life. And he has no more regard for Obama than I do so he’s not whining about it.

This same guy was in my office several years ago watching me deal with the regulators I interact with. He saw all the forms, heard the conversations and said “wow, this is as bad as Russia”. He should know since he’s pushing a rig through the hinterlands to Sakelin for Exxon. He runs heard on the environmental impacts of that and says its basically jurisdictional payola that gets things done.

They have stopped selling vodka shots at the street kiosks to those under 16 though. Beer is still okay for the kids.

DanMan on December 18, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Given Sen. Menendez’s past history, large amounts of cash in plain manilla envelopes would probably interest him in talking about pretty much anything…or as Ward Cleaver notes, teenage Dominican girls at the end of free private plane trips to the Dominican Republic would also work.

President Obama himself often includes “increased exports” as a means to bolster growth and employment in his incessant iterations of “economic pivots,” and pretending that the the free-trade benefits the federal government actively promotes in certain sectors (agriculture, for instance) are somehow inapplicable to the energy industry… literally makes no sense.

The all too frequent progressive double standards also make absolutely no sense whatsoever, but that is how they work.

The goal for, not some, but a majority of the Democrats in DC, is to stop the oil boom and drive prices up to the point that their renewable energy interests start to become economically viable. It’s why pinheads like the NY Governor Cuomo continues to drag his heals regarding fracking – and he likes to collect donations from the elite liberoyalty in NYC who buy Al Gore and Michael Mann’s schtick.

Once again, the left seems to believe that because they want something to happen, the laws of economics and human nature are immediately rendered inoperative.

Athos on December 18, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Bourbon with a shot of hot chocolate.

AllahsNippleHair on December 18, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Bourbon w/ a shot of bourbon. /

22044 on December 18, 2013 at 4:57 PM

That this man hasn’t been tarred, feathered, and pelted with rancid tomatoes speaks volumes.

In a sane world, he’d be afraid to leave his house.

CurtZHP on December 18, 2013 at 4:58 PM

In America you watch TV

In Soviet Barack America TV watches you!

22044 on December 18, 2013 at 4:58 PM

We must continue to keep domestically-produced crude here to lower prices for consumers, while aggressively working towards clean and renewable alternatives. Allowing for expanded crude exports would serve only to enhance the profits of Big Oil, and could force U.S. consumers to pay even more at the pump.

Clearly why we must block the Canadian oil pipeline, to help lower prices for consumers. Oh, wait…

parke on December 18, 2013 at 4:59 PM

They have stopped selling vodka shots at the street kiosks to those under 16 though. Beer is still okay for the kids.

DanMan on December 18, 2013 at 4:56 PM

More nutritional value for growing teens in beer.

oldroy on December 18, 2013 at 5:00 PM

We shouldn’t be exporting our oil. We need to hoard it all so we can emerge victorious from the resource wars prior to the big one in 2077.

Now I need to go see a man about a vault.

Spade on December 18, 2013 at 5:00 PM

More nutritional value for growing teens in beer.

oldroy on December 18, 2013 at 5:00 PM

At what age are they decanted?

Murphy9 on December 18, 2013 at 5:02 PM

At what age are they decanted?

Murphy9 on December 18, 2013 at 5:02 PM

No. No. No. The teens aren’t grown in the beer. Consuming beer rather than vodka helps them grow.

oldroy on December 18, 2013 at 5:07 PM

No. No. No. The teens aren’t grown in the beer. Consuming beer rather than vodka helps them grow.

oldroy on December 18, 2013 at 5:07 PM

:)

Murphy9 on December 18, 2013 at 5:10 PM

More nutritional value for growing teens in beer.

To hear him tell it there is no reduction of beer consumption with increased vodka availability. A spring ritual is finding all the dead drunks and other deletria after the first thaw.

His tales are quite interesting. There are drop dead gorgeous women hanging out in expensive hotel bars trying desperately to get out and among men alcoholism is very high. Lots of Germans, Italians, French and Americans getting their work on over there.

DanMan on December 18, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Darn it, I just lost another round of “In jail, or not in jail.”

Fallon on December 18, 2013 at 5:11 PM

No. No. No. The teens aren’t grown in the beer. Consuming beer rather than vodka helps them grow.

oldroy on December 18, 2013 at 5:07 PM

In a weird way, this discussion reminds me of Arthur Guinness, who brewed beer to try to reduce drunkenness and alcoholism in Ireland.

22044 on December 18, 2013 at 5:12 PM

There are drop dead gorgeous women hanging out in expensive hotel bars trying desperately to get out and among men alcoholism is very high.

upon further reflection we’re Russians already

DanMan on December 18, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Darn it, I just lost another round of “In jail, or not in jail.”

Fallon on December 18, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Quick: Lois Lerner. Jail, or not in jail?

oldroy on December 18, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Darn it, I just lost another round of “In jail, or not in jail.”

Fallon on December 18, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Quick: Sen. Menendez. Jail or not in jail… Oh. I see wht you are saying there…

oldroy on December 18, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Now I’m just wondering what would happen if you planted teens in beer.

Axe on December 18, 2013 at 5:18 PM

And who’s Earl?

Axe on December 18, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Sen. Bob Menendez bloviating with the typical anti-export talking points I could have predicted in my sleep.

I’d really hate to be dreaming of Bob Menendez in my sleep. You might want to see a therapist about that.

oldroy on December 18, 2013 at 5:24 PM

There are Senators, there are Morons, and then there is Menendez.
Perhaps one of his underage Dominican hookers could broker an oil deal.

Another Drew on December 18, 2013 at 5:37 PM

oldroy on December 18, 2013 at 5:15 PM

So far: Not!
But, what is the Statute of Limitations on Lying to Congress?

Another Drew on December 18, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Now I’m just wondering what would happen if you planted teens in beer.

Axe on December 18, 2013 at 5:18 PM

beeracne.
slippery and stupid :)

dmacleo on December 18, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Now I’m just wondering what would happen if you planted teens in beer.

Axe on December 18, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Um, Miley Cyrus?
Just spitballing here.

JusDreamin on December 18, 2013 at 6:18 PM

enhance American energy security and protect U.S. consumers from volatility and price spikes.

Yeah, that’s worked out great so far.

29Victor on December 18, 2013 at 6:20 PM

If the Obysmal administration hadn’t imposed new regulations on CO2 emissions of refineries, we would have expanded American refineries to handle the increased supply of crude oil. Since we don’t have the refining capacity, we are forced to export crude and import refined products, in effect paying other countries to refine our crude oil.

If a barrel of crude oil is refined in America or somewhere else, the same amount of CO2 is emitted, which eventually mixes into the world atmosphere. So sending our oil overseas to be refined has no net effect on “global warming”.

So let’s get rid of regulations on CO2 emissions from refineries, and let’s refine our own oil, create thousands of new American jobs, and we won’t need to export crude and keep Senator Menendez happy.

Steve Z on December 18, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Think we all know the real Bob.

StevC on December 18, 2013 at 6:56 PM

How about importing underage boys and girls Bob, will that do it for ya?

karra on December 18, 2013 at 7:30 PM

…what does Bob’s governor say?

KOOLAID2 on December 18, 2013 at 7:54 PM

It’s all about whose hand is being greased and its obvious no one has gotten Menendez yet — either that or he is worrying about a VLCC crude carrier accident of NJ.

We still import 40% of our crude oil–> 6M Bpd; 1M+ from Saudi Arabia alone. The folks that want to export are anticipating the Keystone pipeline. They will have refined products (gasoline, diesel, pet coke) in a place that doesn’t need any (Texas) — so lets export it. Meanwhile we have tankers and trains servicing our Midwest and East coast refineries; we have unit coal trains from Wyoming heading east. As I’ve said before the Keystone pipeline goes the wrong place — it ought to be delivering to our rust belt refineries where the pet coke can be burned in power plants and the refined products made closer to their market.

KenInIL on December 18, 2013 at 8:29 PM

That this man hasn’t been tarred, feathered, and pelted with rancid tomatoes speaks volumes.

In a sane world, he’d be afraid to leave his house.

CurtZHP on December 18, 2013 at 4:58 PM

If this were a brave enough country he wouldn’t even have to do that.

Chaz706 on December 18, 2013 at 8:37 PM

I don’t have a problem with this.

How about instead of exporting more, we import less?

Chris of Rights on December 19, 2013 at 8:14 AM

I don’t have a problem with Menendez limiting oil exports in the name of energy independence. What I do have a problem is that Menendez probably supports Obama’s obstructionist tactics against domestic and Canadian fossil fuel exploration and production.

kd6rxl on December 19, 2013 at 10:58 AM