Is the Obama Administration Suddenly Facilitating Energy Development?

June 18th, 2013 | by Morris Beschloss | Comments

There is an economic climate change emanating from Washington, totally unrelated to the climatological purity” ideology so previously manifested as a pillar of the Obama policies so strongly pursued in his first term.

It may well have been trumpeted by President Barack Obama’s mid-May announcement supporting America’s unquantified liquid natural gas export initiatives, and approving building of liquid natural gas export facilities. This was in the face of heavy lobbying by major chemical corporations, concerned that such an intensified global marketing drive could severely accelerate natural gas pricing. This would be squeezing the cost basis of chemical converters’ feedstock, electric power generating facilities, and the embryonic automotive gasoline blend facilitation now in the works.

But other positive energy development announcement seem to be occurring in rapid succession:

1) Although the Environmental Protection Agency’s additional regulations have been posted, they are not as severe as expected, and are subject to further review before implementation.

2) Although hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for oil and natural gas on federal lands (comprising two-thirds of U.S. shale potential exploration) has not been approved, it is now under serious consideration.

3) Several privately commissioned investigations regarding the impact of “fracking” on ground water have cleared the process from any contamination charges, taking this stumbling block effectively off the table. Although not necessarily endorsed by the federal government, these relevant conclusions are considered a strong rejection of environmentalists’ attempts to undercut further shale expansion, if not downright stoppage.

Most important, perhaps, is the Administration’s indication of its urgent need to exploit energy’s unparalleled economic growth opportunity at a time when the electorate’s attention is increasingly focused on the government’s miscues in both domestic and foreign policy sectors.

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