Landrieu Could Swing at Export Limits With Energy Gavel

Picture released, 12 December 2007 by the Norwegian Coastal Administration showing an aerial photo of the tanker Navion Britannia which was loading oil from a loading buoy and left a major oilspill in Statfjord, some 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the Norwegian coast. According to preliminary estimates from the Petroleum Safety Authority, some 3,840 cubic metres, the equivalent of 24,150 barrels or 3,220 tonnes of oil, had spilled into the sea.
National Journal
Ben Geman
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Ben Geman
Dec. 19, 2013, 7:04 a.m.

Max Baucus is bail­ing on the Sen­ate to be­come am­bas­sad­or to China at just the right time for ad­voc­ates of ex­port­ing U.S. nat­ur­al gas and crude oil.

As we ex­plained here, the Montana Demo­crat’s con­firm­a­tion would put Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., on a likely path to chair the Sen­ate En­ergy and Nat­ur­al Re­sources Com­mit­tee.

The con­sult­ing firm Clear­View En­ergy Part­ners, in a short ana­lys­is, notes that Landrieu would be re­pla­cing ex­port skep­tic Ron Wyden, D-Ore., atop the en­ergy pan­el as the pet­ro­leum in­dustry is seek­ing faster gas-ex­port ap­provals from reg­u­lat­ors.

“To the ex­tent that Wyden’s pref­er­ences and re­la­tion­ship with [En­ergy Sec­ret­ary Ern­est] Mon­iz may have factored in­to a pos­sible ‘pause’ in [gas-ex­port] au­thor­iz­a­tions, the pro­spects of that pause (or at least its dur­a­tion) could di­min­ish with Landrieu at the helm of the Com­mit­tee,” Clear­View writes of Landrieu, an ally of oil and gas com­pan­ies.

Oil pro­du­cers are also push­ing to dis­mantle stat­utory lim­its and fed­er­al policies that ba­sic­ally ban U.S. crude ex­ports.

Clear­View notes that Landrieu’s par­ing with rank­ing Re­pub­lic­an Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, could ac­cel­er­ate that battle.

“We would sug­gest that an En­ergy Com­mit­tee led by two oil-state sen­at­ors could en­gage in con­sid­er­ably more sub­stant­ive de­bate than we an­ti­cip­ated pri­or to 2015,” they write, and pre­dict that “ro­bust de­bate in 2014 could set the stage for pos­sible le­gis­lat­ive change in 2015.”

Landrieu would be­come chair­wo­man if Wyden, as ex­pec­ted, takes the Fin­ance Com­mit­tee top slot that Baucus would va­cate.

Bank­ing Com­mit­tee Chair­man Tim John­son, D-S.D., out­ranks Landrieu on the en­ergy com­mit­tee, but a Bank­ing aide said that John­son prob­ably won’t seek the en­ergy gavel.

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