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Obama Politics: Gas-Export Study Delay Puts U.S. Projects in Limbo for This Year

By Jim Snyder
Sep 18, 2012 2:14 PM CT

The Energy Department’s delay in releasing a report on liquefied natural-gas exports puts in limbo for this year as many as 12 applications including projects backed by Dominion Resources Inc. and Sempra Energy. (SRE)

The department commissioned the study last year to assess the economic impact of exports on domestic energy use after granting Cheniere Energy Inc. (LNG) permission to ship gas from Louisiana. It said future permits won’t be issued until the study is completed.

The first part of the study is complete, and a second portion was scheduled to come out in the first quarter. That date was pushed back to late in the U.S. summer, which ends Sept. 22. A posting on the department website now says it will be “complete by the end of the year.”

“It is really unfortunate, but I don’t think anything happens until we see the results of that report,” said Bill Cooper, president of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, which advocates for gas shipments. The Washington-based group includes LNG producers, shippers and terminal operators.

“None of the applicants, I’m certain, want to see a delay in the regulatory process,” Cooper said in an interview.

The study was started after lawmakers led by Representative Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said overseas sales might increase domestic energy prices.

The delay probably will push release of the Energy Department’s report until after the election in November.

‘Complicated Analysis’

“This is a complicated economic analysis assessing a dynamic market,” Jen Stutsman, an Energy Department spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. “We take our responsibility to issue these determinations seriously and want to make sure the necessary time is taken to get it right.”

Investors including Sempra Energy in partnership with Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsui & Co. Ltd., Freeport LNG with Macquarie Group Ltd., and Dominion Resources, have applied for approvals from the Energy Department.

U.S. permits are required to sell gas to countries that aren’t free-trade partners with the U.S., a group that includes Japan and Spain.

As natural-gas prices soared in the last decade, energy companies sought permission to build import terminals. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas has opened access to reserves that previously couldn’t be produced economically, driving prices to a decade low and letting companies shift gears and seek overseas buyers for the fuel.

In fracking, oil and gas companies shoot a mixture of water, sand and chemicals underground to crack shale rock formations and free fossil fuels trapped inside.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Snyder in Washington at jsnyder24@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at jmorgan97@bloomberg.net

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Obama Energy Plan: Delay, Deny, Deceive

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Saturday, 24 March 2012 00:00 Right Side News

This administration’s record speaks for itself. For more than three years, President Obama has implemented a three part energy strategy: delay, deny, and deceive.”  — IER President Thomas Pyle

WASHINGTON D.C. — The president continued his taxpayer-funded energy charade yesterday in Cushing, Okla., where he claimed that his administration will fast-track the southern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline.  Since the administration announced the intention to delay the pipeline’s permit in Nov. 2011, American consumers have spent more than $8.8 billion to purchase overseas oil.  And when the U.S. Senate considered earlier this month a bipartisan Keystone XL provision to authorize the pipeline, the president personally lobbied senators to defeat the measure, which failed to reach a 60-vote threshold despite gaining a 56-vote majority.

IER President Thomas Pyle released the following statement in response to President Obama’s speech today in Cushing, Okla.

“President Obama wants to deceive the American people into believing that he’s somehow responsible for the southern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline, much like he wants them to think he’s responsible for increased oil and gas production in the United States. Neither claim is true, and the president knows it.

“The administration has blocked full development of the Keystone XL pipeline, from delays last fall to the outright rejection of the pipeline permit earlier this year. The president wants to reject the pipeline, and yet take credit for approving it. Similarly, he’s closed development of millions of acres of onshore and offshore federal lands for oil and gas production, while attempting to take credit for production increases on state and private lands where he has no role.

“Just this week, the Congressional Research Service released a report showing that federal oil production represents 7.5 percent of the total oil produced from all onshore U.S. lands in 2011, despite the fact that the federal government owns more than 30 percent of the lands with oil producing potential.

“And the Energy Information Administration released data this month that shows oil production on federal lands is down 13 percent this year under the Obama administration. Natural gas production is at a 9 year low. These energy facts stand in stark contrast to the President’s bogus claims.

“Today, the Washington Post ‘downgraded’ the president’s record of truthfulness on America’s vast oil resources. The administration continues to claim that the U.S. only has 2 percent of the world’s oil resources. But according to his own administration’s data, America has 200 years of domestic oil supply at current consumption levels. And that’s not counting Canadian oil that the Keystone XL pipeline would bring to U.S. refineries.

Had the president authorized the Keystone XL permit in January – when he denied it – America would be well on our way to bringing more than 700,000 barrels of Canadian oil on line. That’s more than twice the oil that was produced on federal onshore lands last year, and it could have created as many as 20,000 jobs in the process.

“The glaring hypocrisy of the president’s speech today is that he announced that his administration would fast-track approval of a pipeline project that the White House has no control over. And if the president has the ability to fast-track permits, why has he waited until today to use that executive authority? And why only for this project?

“This administration’s record speaks for itself. For more than three years, President Obama has implemented a three part energy strategy: delay, deny, and deceive.”

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