U.S., China will be world’s biggest LNG exporter and importer in 2024: IEA
Reuters, July 16, 2019
The United States and China will become the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters and importers, respectively, in five years, according to projections by the International Energy Agency (IEA). U.S. LNG exports are expected to rocket to over 100 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2024, dislodging current market leaders Australia and Qatar, Jean-Baptiste Dubreuil, senior natural gas analyst at IEA, said on Tuesday. He was speaking at a presentation sponsored by Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs Center on Global Energy Policy in New York. China’s LNG imports, meanwhile, are expected to surge to over 100 bcm in 2024, topping those of current world leader Japan. Japan’s LNG imports have mostly declined since peaking in 2014 as utilities restart some nuclear plants shut for mandatory safety inspections and testing after an earthquake and tsunami damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant in 2011.
Offshore Oil Is Crucial for U.S. Security
Jim Webb & Jim Nicholson, The Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2019
Offshore oil exploration has become the strategic bull’s-eye of America’s energy debate. A recent federal court decision blocked the Trump administration’s reversal of President Obama’s late-term executive order that withdrew certain areas in Alaska from offshore oil exploration. The court’s decision, based on a tortured interpretation of a 1953 law, will likely be reversed on appeal. But for now it has halted a renewal of offshore oil exploration. At the same time, bills are pending in Congress that could stop expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration off the East, West, Gulf and Alaskan coasts. As much as 94% of the Outer Continental Shelf has been off-limits to oil and natural gas leasing since 1984, making it difficult even to evaluate the extent of resources there through seismic research. Trends in global offshore exploration suggest these resources are vast. Americans should think hard about whether such draconian restrictions are needed—and about the costs in terms of economic and national security. Over the past nine years the U.S. oil-and-gas industry has implemented advanced exploration technology, sophisticated production methods, better safety procedures and a program of close cooperation with the government.
From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION BOOTING 84% OF BLM’S STAFF OUT OF DC NEXT YEAR: The Trump administration is shifting most of the Bureau of Land Management’s personnel in its Washington, D.C. headquarters out west by the end of next year.
Joe Balash, assistant secretary of the Interior Department, sent a 17-page letter to lawmakers on Tuesday outlining the reorganization. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt confirmed the plans in a statement, saying moving staff to western states, where most federal lands are located, “is not only a better management system, it is beneficial to the interest of the American public in these communities, cities, counties, and states.”
Over 80% of the agency’s D.C. staff will be relocated to further west to states such as Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.
Twenty-seven management positions will be moved to Grand Junction, Colorado, to build a second agency headquarters. Dozens of other employees will begin reporting to state managers instead of officials in Washington, D.C.
BLM employees pushed back against the plan in a briefing given by department heads on Tuesday, according to the Washington Post. Several employees raised questions on the impact on families that have other ties to the Washington area, such as a spouse with another career.
While Republican lawmakers in western states complimented the move, Democrats criticized the plan.
“This administration has been handing over public lands to fossil fuel companies at record speed, and this move is part of that agenda,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva, Democrat of Arizona.
Our Take: Not surprising that government employees claim this is a bad move. Here’s what the folks from ConserveAmerica think: “Relocating BLM closer to the people most affected by the agency’s decisions is a sensible solution and has been something Westerners have long sought. More than 90 percent of the nearly 245 million acres BLM manages is west of the Mississippi River. It doesn’t make sense for the bureau to be stuck in the swamp of Washington, D.C. Critics of the move want to make a political issue out of it, but they are missing the bigger benefits. The people of Colorado – and the West in general – are some of America’s best stewards. They live and work on the land every day and therefore have the greatest incentive to care for it. It’s their backyard.”