In Washington and Houston, Export Pressure Rises
HOUSTON — The U.S. oil-and-gas production surge and the crisis in the Ukraine are together spiking pressure on the Obama administration to allow a major expansion of U.S. energy exports.
CEOs of Chevron and BHP Billiton, at the big IHS CERAWeek energy conference here, ramped up calls Tuesday for easing decades-old restrictions on U.S. crude oil exports.
BHP Billiton's Andrew Mackenzie told reporters that while crude oil exports are a "complex issue," he added that "I think examples of free trade will only encourage the rest of the world, will increase resource security, and I believe almost certainly will lift the GDP of the world."
"It sounds a little messianic, but that's where I am," said Mackenzie, who in a separate speech backed gas exports too.
There's growing pressure on the Energy Department to speed up approval of natural gas export applications, a topic getting new attention amid turmoil in Ukraine.
House Speaker John Boehner, echoing a House committee chairman's comments yesterday, on Tuesday pointed to the crisis in Ukraine in calling on the Obama administration to expedite liquefied natural gas exports in order to counter Russia. "We should not force our allies to remain dependent on Putin for their energy needs," he said.
The outcome of the crisis in Ukraine remains highly uncertain. But it's clear that whatever happens, pressure on the White House over energy export policy isn't going away.
TOP ENERGY NEWS
By Clare Foran (@ckmarie)
PODESTA SHAPES WHITE HOUSE CLIMATE POLICY BEHIND THE SCENES. John Podesta is working to build out the president's legacy on climate and environment.
- Our take: Podesta's presence appears to be increasing the intensity of efforts to use executive powers on energy and environmental policy.
ENERGY DEPARTMENT PLANS DEEPER LOOK AT CRUDE EXPORTS. The Energy Department is preparing new analyses of the potential effects of lifting U.S. restrictions on crude oil exports as political pressure on the Obama administration to ease the decades-old limits increases.
Exactly what I need as a busy college student."
OBAMA WANTS PROJECTS IN PARKS, MORE ONSHORE DRILLING. The president's budget highlights conservation as a priority while also laying the groundwork for expanded oil and gas production on public lands.
WHITE HOUSE WALKS LINE ON ENERGY AND CLIMATE ISSUES. President Obama doubled down in support of natural gas with the release of his fiscal year 2015 budget proposal.
TRANSCANADA CEO: 'THERE ISN'T A ROCK THAT HASN'T BEEN OVERTURNED' IN KEYSTONE REVIEW. TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling isn't willing to gaze into a crystal ball when it comes to the timing of an Obama administration decision on his company's proposed Keystone XL pipeline. But he's increasingly confident that the years-long review won't go on much longer
CONSERVATIVES SAY UKRAINE CRISIS BUILDS CASE FOR LNG EXPORTS. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., is saying that expanded natural gas exports would weaken Russia's political influence.
COURT STRIKES DOWN BP'S BID TO LIMIT GULF SPILL PAYOUTS. BP must resume payments to businesses that have claimed losses from the accident.
BOOMING OIL PRODUCTION GIVES REFINERS A BOOST. A surge in domestic oil production has spurred a domestic refinery renaissance. But the looming possibility of expanded crude exports could spark a reversal.
CHEVRON GETS WIN IN ECUADOR CASE. A U.S. district judge ruled in favor of Chevron when he determined that a verdict in an earlier case brought against the energy giant was fraudulent.
HOYER HINTS AT FAVORITE IN HOUSE ENERGY RACE. Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., indicated he may support Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., over Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., in a bid to take over the position of ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
CUOMO CALLS FOR IMPROVED RAIL SAFETY. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pressing federal officials for tougher rail safety regulations given the high volume of crude moved by rail in the state.
NATIONAL JOURNAL ENERGY POLL: Will Congress support President Obama's proposal for a $1 billion Climate Resilience Fund in the 2015 budget?
A) Yes, even Republicans skeptical about climate change have districts affected by extreme weather
B) Yes, but only after cutting the amount of money for the fund
C) No, but some type of program to address extreme weather will be proposed by Republicans
D) No, the president's proposal is dead on arrival
WHAT INSIDERS ARE SAYING…
CAN CONGRESS PASS ENERGY-EFFICIENCY? Is there enough political will to carry energy-efficiency across the finish line? And what's at stake—politically, economically, and environmentally—if energy efficiency gets stuck in the mud?
"Underlying all government interventions to achieve greater energy efficiency is the belief that the market has failed and consumers are not smart enough to act in their own self-interest. This legislation continues to reflect the philosophy that government knows best how consumers and business should allocate their resources and which trade-offs they should make." -William O'Keefe, CEO, George C. Marshall Institute
HOUSE TAKES UP ELECTRICITY BILL. The House plans to consider H.R.3826, the "Electricity Security and Affordability Act."
BUDGET BRIEFING. Bloomberg Government holds a webinar titled "Breaking Down the Budget," focusing on the fiscal year 2015 budget.
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