LNG tanker at sea (Photo courtesy of FERC)
The Obama Administration is blocking a comprehensive environmental study on the impact of exporting massive quantities of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, on the grounds that new gas drilling induced by the exports is not “reasonably foreseeable.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Energy is resisting calls by Dow Chemical and other manufacturers for a more clearly defined and transparent DOE process for determining whether proposed LNG export projects serve the “public interest.”
Both the DOE and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission face mounting pressure to evaluate the economic and environmental consequences of licensing LNG export facilities. Since the agencies licensed an LNG export terminal in Sabine Pass, La., in 2011, 19 other applicants have lined up with licensing requests. Continue reading Obama Administration Says No to Full Environmental Study of LNG Exports
Days after Cornell President David Skorton declared in an opinion column for Forbes magazine that fracking was a nationwide fait accompliand that Cornell was eager to partner with industry to analyze it, a Cornell undergraduate shot back with a zinger. Writing in Cornell’s student newspaper, Anna-Lisa Castle said that the president’s September 24 piece [...]
Ernes Moniz, Obama’s top candidate for Energy Secretary
Oil and gas companies are funding research at major universities to counter environmental objections to shale gas drilling. President Obama is considering appointing a key beneficially of industry monies at MIT as his new energy secretary.
The oil and gas industry has campaigned hard and paid handsomely for academic support for its media talking points.
Those efforts to justify and promote aggressive drilling for natural gas in shale formations recently erupted in scandal at three highly-regarded universities: Penn State University, the University of Texas at Austin and the State University of New York at Buffalo. Each time, critics of industry-friendly research ferreted out the university’s failure to fully disclose industry ties and ran to the media, which reliably produced ‘gotcha’ stories and nicknamed the practice “Frackademia.”
But those stories ignored or barely mentioned the energy industry’s pervasive influence at an even more prestigious school: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. MIT’s brand as a reliable source of peerless science remains intact. Continue reading “Frackademia” – MIT’s Ernest Moniz, Obama’s Top Candidate for Energy Secretary, Oversees Pro-Industry-Funded Research
Cuomo-Connected PR Firm Pushes Inergy-Crafted Letter to Media and NY DEC
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.—An Inergy LP official called a consulting engineer in January to urge him to recant decade-old negative conclusions about the structural integrity of a local salt cavern that the Kansas City energy company now plans to use to store liquid butane.
The engineer, Larry Sevenker of Kenner, La., produced a three-paragraph letter Jan. 15 to “set the record straight.” In an interview Feb. 3, Sevenker acknowledged that a company official helped him craft the letter and that he is still paid by the company.
Letter in hand, Inergy turned to M Public Affairs, a recently-hired public relations firm with close ties to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to disseminate it by making cold calls to upstate New York media outlets. Meanwhile, an attorney for Inergy, Kevin Bernstein of Syracuse, forwarded Sevenker’s letter to the state Department of Environmental Conservation with a cover letter that ended: “In short, Mr. Sevenker recognizes that his 2001 conclusion regarding a roof collapse was erroneous and effectively recants his inaccurate conclusion.” Continue reading At Industry’s Urging, Engineer Reverses Position on LPG Cavern Storage