Marita: Oil and gas exports—one policy change, many benefits

Greetings!

As is often the case, this week I had to decide between three different story ideas for my column. Al Gore and his suggestion that climate change skeptics be punished certainly had appeal—but many others were addressing that, giving it plenty of coverage. The Obama administration’s federal-lands fracking announcement was also considered—but it made headlines and garnered the ire of Speaker Boehner and therefore didn’t need me to draw attention to the issue. I settled on the under-reported topic that allowed me to tie several stories together as I am fond of doing: Oil and gas exports—one policy change, many benefits (attached and pasted-in-below). I used Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritizker’s WSJ op-ed as my launching point and tied it throughout Oil and gas exports—one policy change, many benefits.

I am pleased with how Oil and gas exports—one policy change, many benefits penciled out (or keyed out). I hope you are too! Please post, pass on, and/or personally enjoy!
Thanks for your interest!

Marita Noon
Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.
PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 8718

Marita: Oil and gas exports—one policy change, many benefits
“Businesses that sell to foreign markets put more people to work in high-quality jobs, offering more Americans the chance to earn a decent wage,” claimed the Obama administration’s Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in a March 18 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) opinion piece.

She makes a strong case for U.S. exports: “jobs in export-intensive industries pay up to 18% more than jobs not related to exports.” Her premise is: “The U.S. economy ended 2014 on the uptick, and exports added to the momentum.” Noticeably absent is any mention of the potential for “high-quality jobs” and economic “uptick” that would come from the export of America’s abundant oil-and-natural gas resources—something an executive order could expedite; something her office could champion.

Pritzker states: “From large enterprises and multinational corporations to small startups and local manufacturers, an increasing number of businesses are realizing that their customer base is no longer around the corner, but around the world. They understand that 95% of the world’s customers live outside the U.S., and to succeed in the 21st century, they must find a way to reach consumers in ever-expanding markets.” Penny, this is especially true for American energy!

Due to the modern technologies of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing—developed and refined within our borders—the U.S. is producing more oil and natural gas than in decades. So much that we are nearly out of places to store it. We know how to produce it safely and cheaply. But, unlike the airplanes Pritkzer’s co-author Jim McNerney, CEO of Boeing Co., builds, the oil-and-gas industry is prevented from sending its abundance to “foreign markets”—including our allies in Europe who are dependent on energy from a source that uses it as a weapon against them.

The same day WSJ published Pritzker’s piece, it featured a news story announcing: “some of the world’s biggest oil companies are starting to give up” on “hydraulic fracturing wildcatting in Europe, Russia and China.” This, despite the fact: “Eastern European officials who were eager to wean their nations off of Russian gas welcomed the explorers.” It explains: “Wells in Poland and China can cost up to $25 million each, while American wells on average cost about $5 million”—resulting in overseas costs to produce a barrel of shale oil that are higher than what it can be sold for with the current world-wide low prices.

In trade negotiations, the U.S., according to the New York Times (NYT), “typically argues that countries with excess supplies should export them.” We have excess supplies of both crude oil and natural gas that has driven down prices—resulting in “trouble for an industry that has done much to keep the national economy afloat in recent years.” We “should export them”—but we aren’t.

“Why can’t we export crude oil and natural gas?” you might ask—especially when the U.S. can export refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. The NYT explains: “In 2011, the country pivoted from being the world’s largest importer of petroleum products to becoming one of the leading exporters.” At that point, for the first time in 21 years, refined petroleum became our number one export product—though Pritzker never mentioned that.

The “energy world changed.” But, as NYT points out, exports could soak up the excess production, “but there are still political hurdles.”

For crude oil, the problem is energy policy enacted before the “energy world changed.” Signed into law in 1975, after the 1973 Arab oil embargo shook the U.S. with high oil prices, the goal of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, according to the International Business Times, was “to stifle the impact of future oil embargos by foreign oil producing countries.” The result was a ban on most U.S. oil exports—though some exceptions can be made and the Commerce Department has recently given export licenses to two companies for particular types of oil. The WSJ reports: “Ten companies have applied for similar ruling to export oil.”

For natural gas exports, the problem is two-fold. Exporting natural gas is not prohibited, but it is not encouraged or made easy. In order to export natural gas, it must be converted into Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)—which is done at multibillion-dollar facilities with long lead times for permitting and construction that require purchase contracts to back up financing. Many potential customers for U.S. LNG are non-Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries. Currently, Breaking Energy (BE) reports, “the Department of Energy (DOE) has issued five final and four conditional approvals for LNG export to non-FTA countries.” The Financial Times says about two dozen U.S. LNG export facilities have been proposed with four “already under construction, which have contracts to back up their financing.” Last month, according to Reuters, looking to reduce dependence on supplies from Russia, Lithuania signed an agreement to purchase LNG from the U.S.’s first export terminal: Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass, which is expected to send its first cargoes by the end of this year.

Fortunately, as I predicted in November, there are fixes in the works that, as energy historian Daniel Yergin said, symbolize “a new era in U.S. energy and U.S. energy relations with the rest of the world.”

In January, Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act to expedite DOE decisions on LNG export applications. It specifically requires a decision on any LNG export application within 45 days after the environmental review document for the project is published. Currently, applications to export natural gas to non-FTA countries require the Secretary of Energy to make a public interest determination which includes a public comment period. Not surprisingly, “environmental groups are lobbying the Obama Administration to veto the bill.” BE states: “The bipartisan bill could garner enough votes to gain a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.”

A month later, Representative Joe Barton (R-TX), along with 14 co-sponsors, introduced a bill to end the crude oil export ban: HR 702. On March 25, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will meet to debate and vote on the bill—though its passage is not as optimistic as the LNG bill. Bloomberg sees that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are weary, fearing “that they’d be blamed if gasoline prices climb after the ban is lifted.” Oil producers support lifting the ban, while refiners oppose it.

In October, David Goldwyn, the State Department’s coordinator for international energy affairs in the first Obama administration, said: “The politics are hard.” He added: “When the economics become overwhelming the politics will shift.” The NYT stated: The telltale sign of a glut will be a collapse in the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price, the principal American oil benchmark, which is currently [October 2014] about $3 below the world Brent price.” It continues, “If the spread cracks open, the economic arguments for free export of domestic crude will probably win the day.”

That day may have come. On March 13, the WSJ editorial board announced: “WTI now trades 20% below the world market price.” Holman Jenkins, who writes the Business World column for the WSJ, says: “Oil producers are already being denied a premium of $12 a barrel by not being allowed to export this oil.” Thomas Tunstall, research director at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Institute for Economic Development, reported: “Before the rapid increase in U.S. oil and gas production, WTI historically sold at a slight premium to Brent, typically about $1-$3 per barrel.”

“U.S. pump prices are mainly tied to the price of Brent crude, which is freely traded on the world market and is higher than it might otherwise be because of the ban on U.S. exports,” explains the WSJ. “If U.S. producers were allowed to compete globally, prices of Brent and WTI would converge over time, and U.S. gasoline prices would come down, all things being equal.”

Now, the “industry that has done much to keep the national economy afloat” is in trouble. There have been some 74,000 layoffs in the U.S. oil patch since November.

If Congress could muster up the political will to lift the arcane oil export ban, the U.S. could emerge as a major world exporter, which according to the NYT, would result in the “return to a status that helped make the country a great power in the first half of the 20th century.” Yergin adds: “Economically, it means that money that was flowing out of the United States into sovereign wealth funds and treasuries around the world will now stay in the U.S. and be invested in the U.S., creating jobs. It doesn’t change everything, but it certainly provides a new dimension to U.S. influence in the world.”

Pritzker brags that the Commerce Department has “worked with the private sector to help businesses reach customers overseas; … to open new markets for U.S. goods and services; to reform the export-control process; and to overcome barriers to entry.” For U.S. oil-and-gas producers the biggest barrier to reaching customers overseas and opening up new markets is our own energy policy—something the administration and Congress have taken steps to fix. According to Bloomberg, if they knew the public was with them, lawmakers could easily save American jobs and investment, lower gasoline prices, help balance our trade deficit, aid our allies, and increase U.S. influence in the world.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column.

Conspiracy Brews 1.10.15

“Je Suis Charlie”

If you like your coffee and your politics flavorful, served with a heaping dose of civility by a diverse group of interesting people from all parts of the political spectrum then you should be joining us every Saturday. Started in 2007 over coffee and lively conversation by a group of concerned friends and neighbors, ‘Conspiracy Brews’ is committed to finding solutions to some of our State’s toughest problems. Our zest for constructive political discourse is only equaled by our belief that the only way forward is to exchange our views in a relaxed and friendly setting. For additional information or to be added to our e-mail list contact: ConspiracyBrews@aol.com.
Conspiracy Brews

“Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.”

Benjamin Franklin
Not your average political discussion group!
January 10, 2015
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
at
Southwest Secondary Learning Center
10301 Candelaria Rd NE
(northwest corner of Candelaria and Morris)

We think that government should be open and honest at all times.
People from all political parties are welcome.
*** Quotes of the Week ***

“You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him.”

Leo Aikman

“It’s better to fight for something than against something.”

Author Unknown

Suggested Topics

— Is there any workable solution to end the terrorism…are we at war?

— Is there a nationwide war on Police?

— Is there a worldwide war on Freedom of Speech?

— Would a Right to Work law benefit NM or hurt NM?

(Light Quotes of the week)

“Every ten years a man should give himself a good kick in the pants.”

Edward Steichen

“The secret to happiness in your work is to find a job in which your neurosis is constructive.”

Jeanne LaMont, MD

“Just remember, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything and the wrong way is to keep trying to make everybody else do it the right way.”

M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter

——-

A Trip To The Woodshed

It seldom happens.  A member of congress receives a standing ovation for work they have done or questions they have asked.  It happened and you can mark your calendar on this date (5/17/13) as the extra-ordinary day a congress member spoke for Americans regarding the out-of-bounds machinations of the IRS.

This is a gift that keeps on giving, donated by ignorant progressives, working to undermine conservative movements, only to have the scheme back-flip. Of course this is not the end of growing displeasure with this government, but it may the beginning of the end of this administration.

English: Mike Kelly, member of the United Stat...

English: Mike Kelly, member of the United States House of Representatives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The following comes from Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) and RealClearPolitics:

Representative Mike Kelly Spanking IRS

 Don’t forget the related articles below:

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CraigsList: Very, Very Bad For Him

Unofficial seal of the United States Congress

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By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 – 2011)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

A drinking problem, temporary insanity, an excess of testosterone, a case of extra Lothario largesse or just unskilled juvenile experimentation?  All possible, but a New York member (Republican) of the US Congress has posed himself into a corner with a Craigslist account.   Now he has failed to play Casanova … failed in the worst possible way we have to say.  Perhaps further evidence of the dumbing down of Congress.

The update to the story indicates that the congressman’s protestations of innocence were mostly, if not all, a tall-tin of bull butter.  Here’s the link to the original story.  The original story now contains a link to an updated account of revelation.

The congressman has a wife and child and now that he has resigned from Congress, perhaps he has a chance to redeem both.  We wish him success with his future.

Thanks and a flap of the cap and flip of the lid to GAWKER and its editor, Maureen O’Connor.

We Did Not Know That & Neither Did “They”

Unofficial seal of the United States Congress

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By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 – 2011)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

Well, we may not have known it before, but now  it’s announced by Dick Morris on the Sean Hannity show (see more from the article link)  it must be true and we must know it is true.  Well, not so darn fast.  According to FactCheck.org the viral emails and other forms of communication asserting  among other things that :

My sister just sent me a chain e-mail that is trying to make a case for a 28th amendment to the Constitution stating that Congress shall make no law that members of Congress are exempt from obeying themselves. The e-mail uses the following example, and I’d like to know if it’s true:

Monday on Fox news they learned that the staffers of Congress family members are exempt from having to pay back student loans. This will get national attention if other news networks will broadcast it. When you add this to the below, just where will all of it stop?

It seems few, if any, purveyors of this kind of bull butter ever attempt to look at possible locations which might prove or disprove this and similar “facts,”  because for lazy people, it is not worth the effort.  It is the shock value they seem  after, but they gain a reputation for silliness and ignorance.  That said, it is true there are congressional perks; whether for the members of congress, their staff, other congressional employees, that might cause your toenails to fall off if you suddenly learned the full extent of the benefit “puffs.”  And we haven’t begun mentioned benefits for all federal employees.  The FactCheck article continues with corrections and additions and tries to state the full facts, but in doing so,  actually generate more curiosity over just how much federal government (particularly congressional government components) have managed to bloat out of any semblance of common sense or value received.

You can read the rest of the article from FactCheck if you click here. Don’t forget to access any links set below.

Petty Silliness Promoted To Sublime Pomposity — Just Cleave It

Pork Cuts

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By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 – 2010)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

How do you explain the absolute silliness of a massive congressional earmark if it is indescribable in ordinary terms?  Sublime pomposity?  Criminal ignorance and disrespect  for the money and resources of others?  Perhaps all of the forgoing would be appropriate.  A $49 billion  earmark seems a bit gigantic to me and I hope to the rest of you taxpaying citizens.  Can we just cut to the story of the congressman who has the audacity to defend such an earmark … “Yes we can!”  I know we have all heard those last three words, but I do not believe we were prepared to interpret them as our acquiescence to blatant robbery by a congress member.  Here’s the story — at least part of it.  From The Southeast Missourian and columnist Mike Jensen:

Rep. Cleaver has proposed a $48 billion earmark

When absurdity gives way to hilarity, you must be talking about politics.

In the midst of a colossal global concern for the economic stability of our great nation, Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri’s 5th Congressional District representative, has one small earmark on his wish list that deserves some attention.

Cleaver has listed a new earmark — one of several — and he promises to “fight for every one.” But this is a whopping $48 billion package that must go down as the grandaddy of all earmarks.

Proposed by a gentleman named Lamar Mickens, president of the not-for-profit Quality Day Campus, the $48 billion earmark would funnel money into the inner cities to give money to the poor and thereby produce a much larger consumer class to buy the goods and services produced in this country.

Just call this redistribution on steroids.

Cleaver’s office says this of the proposal:

“The Epicenter is a proposed estimated $48 billion (Phase One) mass scale urban reclamation project for combating, reducing, reversing and/or eliminating poverty within under served communities by utilizing mass scale economic redevelopment to bring about stability and self reliance.”

This thing just gets sillier and borders on stupid.  Here is a link to the rest of Jensen’s story.  PAY ATTENTION NOW — LOOK BELOW!

The story as Mr. Jensen wrote it seems not true.  Here is a follow-up to Jensen’s story, also from The Southeast Missourian, written by another author (Scott Moyer) :

Kansas City, Mo., Congressman Emanuel Cleaver is defending himself today to the national media, saying a Southeast Missouri columnist’s article that claims he was trying to seek $48 billion in federal funding for an inner-city revitalization project is false.”I think it would be hilarious if thousands of people did not believe it,” said Cleaver, who is serving his third term representing the Fifth District of Missouri in the House of Representatives. “It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever experienced in my years in politics.”

It began on Wednesday, when a column by Michael Jensen of Sikeston ran in the Southeast Missourian, asserting that Cleaver proposed a $48 billion earmark for a project called the Epicenter, an urban reclamation project for revitalizing low-income areas in Kansas City’s inner city.

The project is one of 127 proposals that were submitted to Cleaver via his website earlier this year for fiscal year 2011, which were posted on his website. But he posts every proposal he receives from constituents, he said, and not those that he actually chooses to send to Congressional appropriations committees.

So a sensational story has the kibosh put to it, by all things, an accurate story (we hope.)  We can read the rest of the “accurate” story and see that the congressman still loves pork bellies, pig tails and pig earmarks … just not to the extent to which he was accused by Mr. Jensen and others who ran with the original non-story that made a story in itself.  Here’s a link the rest of the revelatory piece by  Mr. Moyers.

While the above may or may not make a decent story, it should give any writer pause to consider sources and their veracity.  Something I have neglected on occasion as my friends and enemies can attest.

Below is a link which might help explain what Congressman Cleaver’s earmarks were, and what they were not.   But, with a name like “Cleaver,” surely the congressman can find an ear or two in need of marking for a butcher job:

Congressman Cleaver’s Earmarks

Here’s more and don’t forget the links toward the bottom of the page:

Republican earmarks do exist along with other Democrats, and Independents

Did They Truck Them In, Or?

U.S. Congressman (now Senator-elect) Bernie Sa...

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By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 – 2010)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

We’ll be posting a link to the story of  Senator Bernie Sanders, (I-VT) and his long-lasting solo act, but the partial question above has to do with the many posters on the comment sections under the linked article, that have given the Senator hero status against or over the Co-President Bill Clinton and our current President Barrack Obama AND all the Republicans.  I’m sure you know how to access the comments and I’ll only caution you to remember some of the inconsiderate posters have juvenile potty mouths … so you are forewarned.

As to the link to the story, I’m sorry it has no video.  But I wouldn’t subject you to eight or nine hours of great speeches from our nation’s founding fathers, much less what some would call harrumphing and haranguing  from a seasoned citizen.  A hero to Vermonters and others he may be, and you have to respect him his energy and dedication, whether well placed or off-track, but he should consider his vocal cords and cut the time he spends on his effort to take away tax breaks for those who may need and want them.

The article makes reference to the Senator as “Filibernie,” but I just know someone else will come up with “FullofBernie,” so I’d like to lay claim to the nickname or appellation before someone else grabs it .  That is not to say that he is full of himself, but it signifies that the Senate chambers was full of his speechifying for at least a third of a day.  The article comes from, The Hill’s, BLOG BRIEFING ROOM and it is by Jordan Fabian.  You’ll find it below:

Mr. Sanders Talks, And Talks, And Talks To Washington

Don’t forget the links below.

Is This A Packed Chamber Or Just A Chamber Pot Full Of Nonsense

By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 – 2010)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

Is anyone actually listening to the Senator as he delivers a most boring football story.  I know it is boring AND long because I made the mistake of listening as the story wound down to an egregious use of United States taxpayers time which amounts to a waste of our money.  Six more years of this man’s humdrum speech pattern may finish patience in the Senate gallery and finally tolerance among the American people.

Our thanks for the video shown below goes to Mediaite and our tongue-in-cheek apologies go to the unions and progressives who helped re-elect the man as we torture them with the sound of, not music, but extreme silliness mixed with enough selfish bull butter on the part of the Senator to gag a maggot:

One only has to look to the gavel wielder in charge at the end of the video to realize this is another cruel joke on the American Citizens.

 

Another Stay-At-Home Congress Supporter

President George W. Bush (right) is greeted by...

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By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 – 2010)

Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone

Back on October 9th, we posted an idea floated by others about a stay-at-home congress.  The idea has a lot of merit in these days of virtual workplaces, broadband internet access and a costly out-of-control federal legislature … if particulars can be worked out.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise to us  that Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) would roll-out such an idea.  A POLITICO blog by Jennifer Epstein and a Human Events interview reports on the idea from Jindal, but no real details are offered toward implementing such an efficient congress.  But the devil can’t loom any larger in the details, than he is mischievous and devious in our present flat tire of a system.  Here’s what Jindal has to say in part:

Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal wants members of Congress to stay home more often.

“We used to pay farmers not to grow crops, let’s pay congressmen to stay out of Washington, D.C.,” Jindal said in an interview with Human Events. “Mark Twain said that our liberty, our wallets were safest when the legislature’s not in session.”

As the reader can see there is a link to the Human Events article.  It offers a bit more for those who want to learn more regarding Jindal’s statements in his interview.  And there is a video which lasts almost five minutes which will provide even greater detail:

Here’s the link to our previous blog article (mentioned above) with information on an E-Congress idea.

Thanks to Politico and Human Events as well as Jennifer Epstein and Jason Mattera.

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