Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

January 31, 2014

US needs more energy nationalism, fewer oil exports

A fundamental question faces the U.S.: Is our vision of the future "Made in America" or "Saudi America"? Does the U.S. want to reclaim its value-added manufacturing economy, or become an extractive petro-state? Will the U.S. produce cars and the fuels to power them, or keep importing both foreign cars and refined fuels even as we export cheap domestic oil and natural gas?

The U.S. oil industry views exports of natural gas and crude oil as a twin engine capable of powering windfall profits. Thanks to a confluence of abundant domestic fuel and the industry's even more voluminous greed, it appears we'll finally have the national dialogue we have long needed on energy's role in our economic future.

Six months ago, when I warned in Bloomberg View that the oil industry intended to lock in ever higher North American oil prices by gutting the federal ban on oil exports, some observers thought this ''unthinkable."

Now, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have all signaled that they no longer believe the U.S. should keep its natural gas and crude oil at home.

In recent months, the Department of Energy has approved, on average, a new export permit for liquefied natural gas every six weeks. In response, Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, D, blocked one of President Barack Obama's Energy Department nominees because she considers these almost automatic permit approvals to be reckless. The battle is joined.

Exporting U.S. crude will affect more than the price of gas; the nation's shipping industry is also at risk. If exports can travel in cheap Liberian tankers, the oil industry claims, it's unfair to require crude shipped from the U.S. Gulf to the East Coast to use the more expensive U.S. Merchant Marine. (The other option, to require all shipments of U.S. oil to travel in U.S. ships served by American crews, simply doesn't occur to the government these days.)

Text Only
Opinion
  • Take a lesson from Texas I like to eat at blue-collar diners and cafes, particularly when I’m on vacation.It’s a chance to step beyond the homogenized national chains and experience a bit of local flavor.And being a reporter, I like to chat up local folks to find out a bit a

    July 23, 2014

  • The future reality of terrorist drones A very small airplane rose over the Gaza Strip last week. It entered Israeli airspace and sped toward the coastal city of Ashdod. Then a Patriot missile blew it up.The plane, a rudimentary drone launched by the terrorist group Hamas, posed little thr

    July 23, 2014

  • We are headed to a jobless future In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers revived a debate I’d had with futurist Ray Kurzweil in 2012 about the jobless future.He echoed the words of Peter Diamandis, who says that we are moving from a history

    July 23, 2014

  • Pensions need to be addressed I will have to admit that I am slightly overwhelmed today with the receipt of articles and suggestions for a column. One of my Fitness Mafia colleagues constantly tells me the columns are too long and trying to address different subjects just dilutes

    July 22, 2014

  • VA still failing our vets Jymm’s preferred attire is a skin-tight Minnie Mouse T-shirt with bright pink windbreaker pants. Even when not sporting his choice outfit, he dons short shorts and shirts with holes in them, because that’s what he finds most comfortable. His Santa Mo

    July 22, 2014

  • Feed your home piggy bank with a 15-year mortgage This summer, we finally decided to take the plunge we’d been contemplating for a while: converting our 30-year mortgage to one with a 15-year payoff. It’s a big step. Our payments will go up somewhat (the PITI — principal, interest, tax, and insuranc

    July 19, 2014

  • Under the dumb There is a TV series about an entire town trapped under a giant, mysterious crystal-clear dome that appears out of the blue one day. The dome is impenetrable; no one can get in, no one can get out. Who made the dome? Aliens? God? A super-secret branc

    July 19, 2014

  • Widening the loopholes This week, two more U.S. companies moved to reestablish themselves overseas, allowing them to pursue lower corporate tax rates. They will join dozens of others who have chased lower tax bills abroad while maintaining operations in the United States,

    July 19, 2014

  • Patriotism not questioned Editor:I am responding to Mayor Mary Jane Chesley’s Reader’s View article in the Thursday, June 19, 2014, Register-News “Patriotism is strong.”The mayor has missed the point of my Reader’s View/opinion article in the local newspapers regarding Flag D

    July 19, 2014

  • Who's telling a story now? For this administration, failure is always the result of a “communications” problem. Otherwise, failure might be taken as evidence of misguided ideology and incompetent execution, right? It’s a weird excuse for the president who fancies himself to be

    July 18, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks