Before today, the Obama administration had only approved six of the more than two dozen pending permit applications for natural gas export terminals for countries with which we do not already have free-trade agreements. In just the past few months, however, the Obama administration has tentatively signaled that they are finally ready to really recognize the boon the recent shale gas bonanza has been for boosting the economy as well as consider the potentially helpful long-term geopolitical benefits that could be reaped from allowing our domestically produced oil-and-gas to flow more freely into the world market — and even of the face of some very vocal opposition last week from united green groups lobbying for an export ban in the hopes of keeping more of America’s oil and gas permanently in the ground, the Obama administration went ahead and announced another approval on Monday. It isn’t enough to quite call it a definitive trend, but their lately accelerated pace of approvals could mean that they’re ready to talk the talk and walk the walk, via The Hill:

The Energy Department said Monday it has “conditionally” authorized the planned Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal to export natural gas to countries with which the United States does not have a free trade agreement.

The Jordan Cove project in Coos Bay, Ore., is the seventh natural gas export terminal to get conditional Department of Energy (DOE) approval. Only one project has final approval from the federal government, and it will not start exporting natural gas until late 2015. …

“The Energy Department conducted an extensive, careful review of the application to export LNG from the Jordan Cove LNG Terminal,” the agency said in a statement. “Among other factors, the department considered the economic, energy security, and environmental impacts,” it added, saying that approval of the terminal “was not inconsistent with the public interest.” …

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, welcomed the department’s decision.

“Given the situation in Ukraine, this license sends a positive signal to our allies and to energy markets that the United States is ready to join the growing global gas trade,” Murkowski said in a statement. “While this license moves us in the right direction, I would be strongly opposed to any ‘pause for further study,’ as some have proposed.”

Of course, the Obama administration is still calling natural gas a “bridge fuel” so as to at least appear sensitive to green groups’ quixotic and self-impoverishing ambitions to quickly transition all of humanity to an all-renewable energy scheme, and they have plenty of heavy-handed regulatory schemes in the works that are working against the grain of economic growth in the energy sector, but the eco-radicals are getting less and less patient with what they feel has been the Obama administration’s mealy-mouthedness on climate change. A.k.a., their at least semi-acknowledgement of reality that doing away with fossil fuels just because you feel lie it… is just not gonna’ happen.