Not All Energy Exports Are Equal
Leave it to Washington to discriminate differently against fossil-fuel exports of all stripes. Let's run down the list.
Not many people pay attention to the skyrocketing exports of refined oil products like diesel and gasoline.
A few more people (mainly environmentalists) are paying attention to coal exports, which are rising in light of a natural-gas glut and tougher environmental rules.
More interest groups are going to bat for natural-gas exports, but the comparatively fewer people opposed to such an increase (including chemical manufacturers and environmentalists) are getting louder.
Not many people, including the House GOP, know what to do about exports of crude oil, which are mostly banned by law. The mere perception of higher gasoline prices makes this the third rail of exports.
The rise in fossil-fuel exports is one of the most significant repercussions of America's oil and natural gas boom, and Washington is clearly confused about how to handle it.
TOP ENERGY NEWS
By Clare Foran (@ckmarie)
LAWMAKERS DRILL DOWN ON CRUDE-BY-RAIL SAFETY. A Senate subcommittee hearing next week will focus on freight and rail safety issues.
- Our take: This hearing will likely get increased attention in light of a Department of Transportation investigation out this week indicating that improper labeling and packaging of crude oil in rail shipments could be widespread.
SENATE DEMOCRATS SHOW UNITY, BUT THERE ARE SOME CRACKS. On issues like Iran sanctions, trade authority, and Keystone, not everyone agrees.
BEGICH PERSONIFIES DEMOCRATIC DIVIDE ON CLIMATE. The senator from Alaska wants to focus more on the costs of global warming as a way to spur public support for action.
'SPRAY-PAINTED' OIL, REFINER DITCHES OLD RAIL CARS, AND OTHER CRUDE-BY-RAIL NEWS. Senators will have plenty to talk about next week when they gather to examine the risks of moving crude oil by train.
BLOOMBERG MAKES PUSH FOR CLOSING COAL PLANTS. In an interview, the former New York City mayor said: "The biggest thing you can do in this country is to close coal-fired power plants."
CANADA WON'T TAKE FIRST STEP TO TIGHTEN CARBON EMISSIONS. Alberta Premier Alison Redford wants the U.S. to make the first move in imposing tougher emissions limits on crude-oil producers.
KEYSTONE COMMANDS OUTSIZED DEBATE. Experts say a recent State Department report on the pipeline's environmental impact has taken up too much attention.
ENERGY DEPARTMENT GIVES GRID RESILIENCE A BOOST. The department will set aside up to $7 million to support technology that will help guard against failures and vulnerabilities in the electric grid.
GREENS RENEW KXL CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST ALLEGATIONS. Environmental groups point to what they say is fresh evidence in the case against the contracting firm hired to prepare the State Department's environmental impact assessment of the pipeline.
AGENCY WATCHDOG GEARS UP TO REVIEW EPA FRACKING RULES. The Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general plans to put proposed fracking regulations under a microscope. (Paywall)
WHAT INSIDERS ARE SAYING…
Next week's National Journal's Energy & Environment Insiders discussion will look at President Obama's support for natural gas. In his State of the Union speech last week, Obama doubled down on his support for natural gas, calling it "the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less carbon pollution that causes climate change." Is that the right decision?
CRUDE DEBATE. The Center for Strategic and International Studies holds a discussion on crude-oil exports.
EXPORTS DISCUSSION. The Cato Institute holds a forum on export restrictions on oil and natural gas.