Revolving Door

Natural Gas Exports: Executive Summary

Co-authored by Lee Fang and Steve Horn.

Executive Summary

The 2014 U.S. congressional mid-term elections are now complete, and the Republican Party controls both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Some have forecasted that this could have catastrophic impacts for progress on climate change and environmental protection in general.

Natural Gas Exports: Key Findings

Key Findings 

The Obama Administration and Key Democratic Leaders Increasingly Embrace LNG Interests: While the Obama White House and Democratic Party have presented themselves as leaders in addressing climate change, moving away from fossil fuels and toward alternative energy sources, LNG exporters have bought their way into the Democratic Party, securing a close relationship with the White House, key federal agencies, and Democratic Party leaders.

Natural Gas Exports: Democrats and the Obama Administration

Democrats and the Obama Administration

President Obama came into office pledging to tackle climate change and to “close the revolving door” between lobbyists and government. But as the LNG debate has unfolded, the administration has broken both promises.

Natural Gas Exports: Our Energy Moment

Message as Massage: “Our Energy Moment”

The rush to hire Democrats for LNG export promotion has raised the specter of conflicts of interest for the White House and its allies.

Natural Gas Exports: Bush Administration Aides and LNG

Bush Administration Aides and LNG

Many ex-Bush Administration officials have passed through the government-industry revolving door and now lobby for or directly own key LNG industry assets.

Natural Gas Exports: Congress

 Congress 

When lawmakers convened for the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity in July 2014, they were greeted with packets reminding them of the event’s sponsors: Cheniere, the LNG firm that was the first to win an export license from the federal government, and ANGA, the lobbying association pushing for more exports.

Natural Gas Exports: Koch Brothers and the Conservative Echo Chamber

Koch Brothers and the Conservative Echo Chamber

The “Kochtopus” tentacles reach into the LNG exports debate as well.

Thu, 2014-07-03 11:00Guest
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U.S. Gas Export Lobbyists Exploit DC's Revolving Door

lng lobbyists revolving door

This is a guest post by David Halperin, originally published at Republic Report.

Even as President Obama pursues an aggressive new public effort to fight global warming by regulating U.S. power plants, his administration is quietly advancing an energy policy — exporting America's liquid natural gas (LNG) — that may well raise the volume of climate-increasing greenhouse gases even more than emphasizing coal, while at the same time polluting U.S. communities through increased use of the controversial practice of hydraulic fracking. (The American Petroleum Institute notes that “a government-industry study found that up to 80 percent of natural gas wells drilled in the next decade will require hydraulic fracturing.”) Worse, the policy also could hurt U.S. consumers by raising energy prices.

As awareness of the harms of LNG exports has grown, public protests areincreasing. Senator Ed Markey (D-MAcharged last week that gas exports may be illegal. But the gas industry is using highly-paid revolving-door Washington lobbyists, Democrats and Republicans, to push policymakers to accelerate these bad decisions. They also are using the Ukraine conflict as a hook, arguing that U.S. exports can reduce Europe's dependence on Russia.

While the coal industry, once heavily bipartisan in its friendships, has increasingly deepened its love affair with the Republican Party, natural gas has become the Democrats' fossil fuel of choice. White House senior adviser John Podesta earlier this year defended the decision to emphasize natural gas as a more-climate friendly source of power generation. But there's a difference between producing gas for the U.S. market, which, despite all the environmental hazards, helps reduce energy prices for U.S. consumers and businesses, and shipping that gas overseas, which could produce a bonanza for big energy companies but potential harms to most everyone else in the U.S.

That doesn't seem to concern the Democrats and Republicans alike who are cashing in as paid advocates for this gas rush.

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