President Obama: Don’t Allow Natural Gas Exports
Today, Food & Water Watch joined with the Sierra Club, numerous other organizations, and more than 200,000 Americans in opposition to the oil and gas industry’s plans to export liquefied natural gas, which would make more profitable and thus intensify destructive drilling and fracking all across the country. Tomorrow, thousands of Americans will call the White House with this same message for President Obama to reject policies that promote fracking or the export of natural gas.
We submitted our own brief comments and signed on to additional comments identifying flaws in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) approach to looking at the cumulative economic impacts of expanded LNG exports.
As I blogged in November of last year, the headlines from the economic impacts report gave the oil and gas industry, and its financial backers on Wall Street, a huge gift. Selective reading of the study led many to conclude that LNG exports would be unequivocally good for the U.S. economy. A representative of Dominion Resources, for example, a company which seeks authority to export LNG from a facility in Cove Point, Maryland, was interviewed on E&E’s OnPoint on December 12, 2012 and said: “I told a friend of mine at DOE that there were babies conceived and birthed in the time that it took to get the report out, it’s a beautiful baby. That’s the thing. The delivery was successful and we’re happy with it….the net economics impacts are positive across the economic spectrum in the United States.”
But this could not be further from the truth. The report specifically states that those Americans who rely on income from wages “might not participate in these benefits.” That says it all—how many people do you know that don’t make a living working for wages, but who instead live off of their oil and gas industry investments? Not many? I didn’t think so.
The U.S. DOE will be making an enormous mistake if it allows the oil and gas industry, and its Wall Street backers, to make enormous profits from exporting gas at the public’s expense. LNG exports will intensify drilling and fracking, leaving communities across the country to bear the costs, but these costs are completely neglected in the agency’s assessment of the cumulative economic impacts.