Is America an Energy Superpower or Energy Colony?

This week the Hill hosted several hearings organized to push for “energy exports” as a geopolitical weapon. We see this as the oil industry using the crisis in Ukraine and Crimea to get what they really want—more access to America’s resources and the export terminals and permission to move them overseas where they are more valuable. 

At a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, while former and current energy lobbyists “debated” liquified natural gas (LNG) exports to Europe and the Ukraine, newly minted Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-LA) raved, “America can and should be an energy superpower!”

Energy Superpower? The reality is, easing LNG exports would be a Faustian bargain: we’d be putting power and money in the hands of energy magnates whose goal to ship North American natural resources abroad. 

Energy Superpower?

Energy Colony is more like it.

The full title of the Senate hearing was "Importing Energy, Exporting Jobs. Can it be Reversed?"  Great sales pitch from the colonists. Sure we'd get a temporary bump in GDP and tax revenues from more energy exports, but the truth is, we’d be sacrificing our land, our health, and our energy security so that oil companies like ExxonMobil (the number one U.S. natural gas producer and fracking company) can go from rich to richer. Remember, Exxon does not have America’s interests in mind; their priority is not the security of the United States.

Some are pointing out a different choice, keeping the cheap gas here at home to lower energy costs.  At a second hearing on natural gas, this one at the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Power Subcommittee, Dave Schryver of the American Public Gas Association pointed out, keeping natural gas for this country will stabilize prices and invigorate our manufacturing sector.

What would it mean for American jobs and the economy if our iPhones, TVs or refrigerators came from Detroit, not China?

Meanwhile, back in the Senate, it was revealed that the dreamed-of gas exports are going to be of a scale or in time to help the Ukraine in the short term or be effective long term, without a large-scale reform of Ukraine's corrupt and broken down energy sector.

Energy Colonists?

At this week’s Senate hearing, here are some lawmakers who revealed that they’re trying to help ExxonMobil and other oil companies colonize America and take her energy resources.  Watch [VIDEO] of the hearing here.


Sen Mary Landrieu 

Sen Landrieu (D-LA) Senate ENR Committee Chair: “…Promoting America as an energy superpower will…help us promote democracy, which is one of the central principles of the existence of our nation.” (2:22:00 of the hearing)

 

Sen Hoeven

Sen Hoeven (R-ND): “…I visited with companies like Exxon, Chevron, Shell and others that are willing to do more, both onshore but also offshore, in the Black Sea…what about their ability to do more in terms of natural gas…?” (2:20:00)

 

 Sen Udall

Sen Udall (D-NM): “…we need to responsibly develop our own natural gas reserves and expand our capacity to exploit this resource abroad.” (1:32:00)

 

Sen Barrasso

Sen Barrasso (R-WY) “…since our first hearing on LNG exports in November of 2011, the administration has continued to move, I believe, at a snail’s pace (on approving LNG exports)… I believe that the delays have been inexcusable.” (1:24:30)

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commented 2014-05-07 15:52:16 -0700 · Flag
I would add that by supporting energy exporting we are also disincentivizing the development of less environmentally expensive forms of energy.