Big Oil’s New Pitch: Fracking Means Never Having to Fear Putin

Oil and gas companies want Washington to believe that fracking can save Ukraine from Russia. It can’t. A worker passes by natural gas compressing equipment near the village of Kovalivka, Ukraine. Iren Moroz/AP As Ukraine sinks deeper into crisis, the oil and gas industry is pressing the United States to deploy its abundant natural gas supply as a weapon against Russia—and lawmakers of both parties are lining up behind the proposal. “We have this natural-gas boom,” Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) said last week, after the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet, allegedly by pro-Russian rebels. “We can use this newfound energy as a diplomatic tool to give the European leaders some backbone in standing up to the Russians.” Their enthusiasm is understandable: Roughly half the natural gas Russia ships to Europe flows through Ukraine. During past disputes, Russia has clamped down on the nation’s gas supply, creating turmoil in European energy markets. Many US politicians fear this dynamic could dampen Europe’s response to the Ukraine crisis and have begun looking to the bounty of natural gas from the domestic fracking boom to counter Russia’s energy dominance. As House Speaker John Boehner put it in a March Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, ”The ability to turn the tables and put the Russian leader in check lies right beneath our feet, in the form of vast supplies of natural energy.” Washington has also seen a flurry of proposals to speed up natural gas exports. Last month, following a lobbying blitz by oil and gas companies, including ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, Halliburton, and Chevron, the House passed a billrequiring the Department of Energy (DOE) to rule on proposed natural gas export terminals within 90 days. The Senate has weighed similar bills and amendments. While they haven’t managed to bypass the prevailing Senate gridlock, these measures have considerable bipartisan support, and backers are determined to push them through. The fight over expediting natural gas exports helped derail the popular Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill and bogged down negotiations over an aid package for Ukraine. As Congress prepares to adjourn for its August recess, opponents of expanding exports are bracing for a new onslaught. “We are on the lookout, particularly for amendments being slipped into must-pass funding bills,” says one senior Senate staffer. Read the rest at Mother Jones. Original article: Big Oil’s New Pitch: Fracking Means Never Having to Fear Putin Related ArticlesObama’s Coal-Leasing Program Is Costing Taxpayers More Than $50 BillionWhite House: Delaying Climate Action Will Carry Heavy Economic CostThis Huge Corporation Is Tackling Climate Change—Because It’s a Threat to the Bottom Line

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Big Oil’s New Pitch: Fracking Means Never Having to Fear Putin

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