March 7, 2014

THE EMPIRE AS COLONY:

America's Natural Gas Lever (MICHAEL WARA, MARCH 7, 2014, NY Times)

At present, the United States lacks the capacity to ship any of this natural gas overseas. But an export terminal capable of supplying three billion cubic feet of gas per day in liquefied form is under construction in Cameron Parish, La., and numerous others are in the planning and permitting stages. These vast projects hold the potential for a long-run solution to problems like the one in Ukraine.

The hitch is that these projects are bedeviled by a complex and uncertain permitting process, especially in order to sell their gas to countries, like those in the European Union, that haven't signed a free-trade agreement with the United States. As a result, each project must petition the Department of Energy for a finding that exporting gas to our European allies is in the "public interest." Events of the past week show that the energy security of our closest allies is decidedly within the public interest of the United States.

The president can help to accomplish this by issuing an executive order finding that liquefied natural gas exports to our allies meet the legal standard. The president should also direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Energy Department to expedite the complex permitting process for these terminals, consistent with state and federal safety and environmental laws.

In doing so, Mr. Obama should make clear that the intent of such action is to give Europe flexibility, not to cut Russia out of its European gas business.

Has there even been a case in history where the Imperial state was the provider of commodities to its colonies, rather than vice versa?  This has the potential to devastate the global economy.
Posted by at March 7, 2014 9:57 AM
  
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