As Congress looks away, U.S. tiptoes toward exporting a gas bounty
By Ayesha Rascoe
and Emily StephensonPosted 2012/06/27 at 12:03 am EDT
WASHINGTON, June 27, 2012 (Reuters) — In a bitterly divided U.S. political environment, there's at least one thing Republicans and Democrats can agree on: Avoid a public showdown on natural gas exports, arguably the most important energy policy decision in recent memory.
While fluctuating gasoline prices, the Keystone pipeline and the fight over fracking steal headlines, the question of how much of the newfound U.S. shale gas bounty should be shared with the rest of the world goes largely without comment or coverage -- despite holding far wider and longer-lasting consequences.
The reason is clear: unlike the relatively simple, black-and-white issues that politicians often favor and voters connect to, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is deep, deep gray.
1. Ed Markey: "I don't think this issue is getting anywhere near the attention it deserves"
"Right now I don't think this issue is getting anywhere near the attention it deserves," said Democratic congressman Edward Markey, one of a small number of politicians actively seeking to rein in energy exports.
"Keystone and Solyndra are election-year political sideshows," he said, referring to the bankruptcy of a government-funded solar panel maker. "This is the main event."
But lobbyists on both sides of the issue say it suits them best to keep the subject out of the headlines. The gas producers that stand to benefit from higher selling prices see no upside from a public brawl, while many manufacturers who could benefit from continuing low prices shy away from anti-export statements.
... as long as they keep their (purely for profit) export plans under the
American public's radar - not a very hard task it must be said - then both
the corporations & the politicians can continue to lie to the public and
pretend that the destruction of the environment (and of the residents'
health & standard of living) is "for the national good".
The scum in corporate boardrooms and the scum in political office are,
in combination, the worst kind of toxic pollution that this planet can
possibly face. And yet, they are incredibly well rewarded for their "work".