From Moonscape To Lake District: East Germany's Coal Mines

Experts Endorse US LNG Exports

In response to a recent House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on the economic and geopolitical opportunities of natural gas exports, Bill Cooper, president of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas issued the following statement:

“Thursday’s hearing adds to the growing understanding that LNG exports are a huge opportunity for the United States economy, our workers and our geopolitical relationships. But we must act soon. As the witnesses stated, numerous economic studies have concluded that LNG exports will create jobs, increase government revenue and benefit consumers. CLNG urges the U.S. Department of Energy to seize the opportunity to grow American exports by selling a small percentage of our clean-burning natural gas to our trading partners abroad, which will create further economic growth here at home.”

The CLNG also highlighted testimony, including comments from the Council on Foreign Relations’ Michael Levi, who is just released a book on North American energy:

“Allowing LNG exports would avoid doing damage to U.S. relations with allies and to U.S. leverage in trade organizations and negotiations more broadly. Actual LNG exports would also provide some security to U.S. friends, particularly in Asia.”

And Michael Ratner, from the Congressional Research Service, had this to say:

“As a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United States could be subject to cases under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade’s General Prohibition Against Quantitative Restraints if exports were limited. While certain exemptions from this prohibition may be granted, export restrictions may put the United States in a contradictory position vis-à-vis cases it has brought to the WTO.”

New IHS Special Report – “Energy and the New Global Industrial Landscape: A Tectonic Shift?”

Oil & gas production growth in North America is a popular topic these days, and as such, energy consultancy and information provider IHS released a new report examining energy and the economy, global oil markets, chemical industry impacts and the new automotive landscape.

Here’s one of the trends they’re looking at:

Indeed, it looks as though 2013 may see a rare occurrence for the world oil market: supply growth from non-OPEC may exceed the growth in world oil demand. This has happened only four times since 1986 and two of those years were during the Great Recession of 2008–09, when oil demand fell. Meanwhile, Iraq could see production rise by around 400,000 barrels per day (b/d) to an average of 3.4 million (b/d)—making it the second largest producer within OPEC for the year.

EPA Sued for Failing to Monitor, Crack Down on Toxic Emissions

Reliance on outdated and inaccurate formulas used to measure emissions are causing pollution data from refineries and other industrial facilities to be significantly understated, several environmental and community groups claim – they are suing the EPA as a result.

“Community groups in Texas and Louisiana — Air Alliance Houston, Community In-Power and Development Association (CIDA), Louisiana Bucket Brigade, and Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (TEJAS) – represented by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) — have filed a lawsuit to compel the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review outdated and inaccurate formulas that are used to report the levels of toxic emissions from refineries and chemical plants,” according to a statement.

“Recent studies at the Marathon, Shell Deer Park, and BP refineries measured actual emissions of volatile and toxic compounds at levels 10 to 100 times higher than estimates based on outdated and inaccurate ’emission factors’ currently used to report such releases.  Refineries reported releasing 37,895 tons of volatile compounds from flares, tanks, and wastewater treatment plants in 2010 alone.  But actual emissions may be an order of magnitude higher according to these and other scientific studies measuring refinery pollution, which means that more than a third of a million tons of these pollutants may go unreported each year,” the statement said.

The text of the lawsuit filing is available online here.