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.

Jason L. Riley: Black, blue and in-between

The problem with or between the black communities and law enforcement agencies has been discussed, one could say, ad infinitum.  One could say such and to some degree be right on target.  The tendency might be for those capable and with the desire to act to forget trying to accomplish anything due to the epithet of racist being hurled in their direction.  We are not talking only of whites, but also of those blacks suffering from the same appellation being plastered on their backs when they do not agree with their black brothers and sisters that the cause of the current sorry state of black crime and black family structure can be laid solely on the treatment by whites and law enforcement.

Jason L Riley is no stranger to black poverty or to what happens in black communities which have suffered from disproportionate criminal acts committed by blacks, and especially black on black crime.

Below you will find a video which runs close to one hour.  The speech from which the video was recorded was presented at Hillsdale College‘s Kirby Center.

“He,” hangs out with the strangest women and men

We are talking about our stellar president.  You know, the one with great difficulty in finding a tongue to say, “Islamic Jihadist,” or anything similar.

He has now opened up his home and our White House, to people proven to be those words.  The Clarion has the story that he and his minions would not admit to.

Right here to start:

US President Barack Obama, privately met with 14 Muslim leaders, including several leaders of Muslim Brotherhood front groups with ties to Hamas.

By Elliot Friedland

Sun, February 8, 2015

The White House has released the names of senior American Muslim leaders that President Obama met with personally last week. The list of names was included on the transcript of the White House daily press briefing on Thursday, despite journalists having requested the information much sooner. Prior to that, the White House had refused to name the leaders.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with the President meeting with representatives from any faith community and with the Muslim community in particular. Yet some of the individuals who met with the President have alarming links to the Muslim Brotherhood and organizations that have funded terrorism.

Azhar Azeez represented the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in the talks with Obama. Declassified FBI documents show that ISNA was identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front group as early as 1987 and its past leaders include Abdurrahman Alamoudi, who was convicted on terrorism related charges in 2004 …

Follow this link for more

Editor: Shamefully there is so much more to demonstrate how Obama throws caution to the wind and slaps American citizens across their face with with people who either are themselves terrible murderers … or lay with sadists who are.

 

 

A gift from a baby president in learning

I apologize for the absence.  I can only say that although I have a fair tolerance for pain, it is difficult to create or even think straight when it is constant, no matter the level.  Those with back surgeries that have been dismal failures will know what I mean.

I will try to do better going forward and although I am not in the least asking for pity, please deal me a little forbearance.

I believe the title describes an individual that seems to be in a crib playing at being president.  I am no expert on matters of diplomacy, but I know a mistake when I see one, and there’s no doubt in my mind … America has made  a colossal blunder in electing Obama a two-time chief executive of this country.

Negotiator2WebCR-2_9_15

Conspiracy Brews 1.17.15

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 17, 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 ***

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

George Elliot

Suggested Topics

— The Mayor, the DA, the Police Chief, the Press, the Public, the Police Union and the CAO…What is truth?***

— Boko Haram…Does anyone give a hoot?***

–Why can’t NM become an Entrepreneur Hub?***

— Should Hawaii become a separate county?***

— The President want the US Government to pay for community college attendance…what you think. ***

(Light Quotes of the week)

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”

Robert A. Heinlein

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed behold a black eye.”

Jim Henson

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

Charles M. Schulz

——-

Charlatans and Conundrums

Imagine a visitor from another  “world,” is somehow plunked down in our midst.  This visitor is not familiar with our customs and mores, but it is able to reason and question in a perceptive way.  It doesn’t take the visitor long to realize there are deep divisions between the adherents of the world’s different religions.  The visitor sees so-called Islāmic wars being waged, outright massacres and attempts to establish “state,” religions.  With his interest piqued, he decides to set out on a course which will allow him to examine the world’s religions.

The visitor first finds very little to commend the religions and is able to find that all the negative aspects of this world’s religions have existed since the dawn of time.  What is more, the visitor sees a calendar of crusades, other “holy,” wars, pogroms, inquisitions and other partitions which have pitted neighbor against neighbor, brother against brother and father against son.

As our visitor continues he observes Sikhs versus Hindus, Muslims at odds with all other religions, fundamentalist protestants against those with a liberal bent, and catholics fighting within the faith with other catholics.  He sees hundreds — no thousands — of innocent men, women and children murdered as the perpetrators swear they are following the dictates of their religion as they look toward heaven for their god’s approval.  Our sojourner wonders at the effrontery of some of the world’s religious and political leaders as they expend more and more of their human resources to wage war on those whose religious beliefs run counter to their own. Wasted men and women, either dead, or mentally exhausted to the point of being unable to work as they once were.  He also sees food and other sustenance wasted which could have been better spent filling the stomachs of the less fortunate or filling the minds of their ignorant and illiterate with meaningful knowledge.

Our visitor sees the three main monotheistic religions have similar or common theme in their doctrine and formation (not the least being their shared lineage from Abraham).  Our “alien,” is chagrined at the rifts which have developed in the past and present among each religion’s adherents.  He finds the fault does not necessarily or solely lie with the doctrine or the “holy,” books and tracts, but with some of the world’s religious leaders and their charlatanistic spin which they nimbly apply during their demagogic diatribes.  He also sees followers blindly tagging along as they are fed the pablum of their very own “false prophet.”  He doesn’t miss the demonic instructions which causes a young child to become a human bomb in order to rid the world of one more “infidel,” or non-believer; the dictates which withhold aid and succor for the world’s hungry and downtrodden; the dictates which teach hate is acceptable as it is directed toward one that is different because of their religious beliefs, the color of their skin, or their historic and ethnic culture.

Finally exhausted and disappointed in the extreme, our alien friend departs our world, shaking his head as he thinks:

How strange so many of that world’s religious leaders sit on their hands while their religions renegade elements wreak havoc on others and lay waste to the potential of that planet.

I hope the thoughtful reader will find nothing offensive to their person or spiritual well-being in reading the above, but if the opposite be the case, perhaps an inward search toward the depth of their soul will reveal something which could be attended to….

Final Tab on His Majesty’s Latest Family Vacation

And the following doesn’t count the crazy stuff he has done and will do since he has returned.  Crazy stuff costing we sap citizens  plenty.  That’s plenty that we don’t have.

Obama’s Hawaii vacation is over, now it’s time for taxpayers to pay massive tab

By Malia Zimmerman | Watchdog.org

HONOLULU – President Barack Obama and his family just spent their Christmas and New Year’s holidays in Kailua. Now it’s time for taxpayers to pick up the tab.

While the Obamas and friends who accompany them pay for their own private vacation home rentals on or near Kailua Beach, taxpayers foot a multimillion dollar tab for everything from a stand-by ambulance to the fuel for Air Force One.

Local taxpayers pick up the bill for Honolulu Police Department escorts who guard Obama, first lady Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha around the clock. Figures just released by HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu show HPD spent $277,000 on overtime costs this year during the president’s 16-day vacation. That’s $16,000 less than in 2013, but $60,000 more than in 2012.

The Emergency Management Services department also dispatches an ambulance to be on call for the president, which annually costs the city about $15,890.

There’s much more in the rest of the article.  Please read on to find out how foolish we are and have been to allow presidents to believe they are, by and through their office, imperial members of these United States of America.

Thank you watchdog and Malia Zimmerman.

Click here for more of the story: Rest of the Story

Spoken like a true Obama

Wreckord3WebCR-12_30_14

What a novel idea

This piece originally appeared on Eagle Rising on 1/3/15

If more public servants would speak on these two issues as does Sheriff Clarke, there would be more responsibility on the part of all involved and hopefully fewer abortions.

 

Sheriff David Clarke to Protesters: If Black Lives Really Mattered You Would be Protesting Abortions Not Cops

By Tim Brown / 3 January 2015

I do like Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. He speaks his mind and leaves no doubt as to what he means. In an interview during Christmas week on CNN with Poppy Harlow, Clarke gave a special message to those protesting police officers under the banner of “Black lives matter.” Clarke said if black lives matter those protesters would be outraged at abortion and protesting that.

The sheriff wanted protesters to take emotion off the table and have an “objective discussion” about the reality of black on black crime. He also indicated that when the recent deaths of black men due to white police officers were a “sliver of what is going on in America’s ghettos

Clarke pointed out that statistics from 2012 and 2013 indicate that in his own county of Milwaukee eighty percent of murder victims were black. Of those blacks murdered, seventy percent of their killers were black. In other words, Clarke was pointing out that blacks are killing their own people, something we have known for some time.

He also said that there were lots of lies about police put out by those with agendas and said that the use of deadly force against black males is actually down seventy-five percent since 1999. In addition to those statistics, between 2011 and 2012, 386 whites were killed by police versus 140 blacks.

“So I’m just saying let’s put the data out there, and let’s have an objective discussion, minus the emotion and the minus the rhetoric,” he said.

When asked about a tweet Clarke sent to New York Times reporter Mitch Smith in which he said, “If only these faux protestors were asked by media about all black on black killing or black babies aborted in US every year.”

“When I hear these things that ‘black lives matter,’ the only people who really believe that statement are American police officers who go into American ghettos every day to keep people from killing each other,” he said. “All right, so, yes I did say that and I meant it. Look, the abortions? If black lives, if they really mattered, that’s where the outrage would be. That’s where we’d see protests.”

In addition to that tweet, Clarke provide these tweets on December 23. Though he did not blame Barack Obama, Eric Holder or Mayor Bill de Blasio for the execution of NYPD police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, he did blast the race baiting politicians for creating the pathway that led to their deaths.

Read more at FEWER ABORTIONS = MORE RESPONSIBILITY