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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Big Oil's New Pitch: Fracking Means Never Having To Fear Putin

Today's post was shared by Mother Jones and comes from

The Obama administration, meanwhile, is weighing plans to streamline DOE approval of liquefied natural gas export facilities (though some industry insiders doubt it will speed up the process). The issue has also played into the secret negotiations over a sweeping US-European Union trade agreement. According to an EU memo leaked to the Washington Post earlier this month, Europe is pressing the United States to lift its longstanding restrictions on fossil fuel exports and make a "legally binding commitment" to allow oil and gas to flow to EU countries.
Even if the market shifts, most European countries aren't equipped to handle large-scale liquefied natural gas imports—and won't be for years.
But the argument behind these measures may be a red herring. Speeding up exports would be boon to industry profits, given that natural gas costs at least three times more overseas than it does in the United States. However, according to environmentalists and industry analysts, it would do little to break Europe's dependence on Russia. "Folks who were in favor of accelerating liquefied natural gas exports anyway have seized upon the Ukraine crisis as yet another argument for why we should be doing it," says Edward Chow, a former Chevron executive and an expert on international energy markets. "But it won't directly effect Europe." Most US exports, he explains, are slated for Asia, where natural gas fetches a much higher price than it does in Europe. Even...
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