Friday, 28 November 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

Obama Loosens Four-Decade Ban on Crude Oil Exports

Sunday, 29 June 2014 11:45 By Gaius Publius, America Blog | Op-Ed

From the mouths of the Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required), we learn that Obama, via his administration, which we pay him to control, has opened the door to international sales of unrefined American oil for the first time since the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s (my emphasis throughout):

U.S. Ruling Loosens Four-Decade Ban On Oil Exports

Shipments of Unrefined American Oil Could Begin as Early as August

The Obama administration cleared the way for the first exports of unrefined American oil in nearly four decades, allowing energy companies to start chipping away at the longtime ban on selling U.S. oil abroad.

In separate rulings that haven’t been announced, the Commerce Department gave Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and Enterprise Products Partners LP permission to ship a type of ultralight oil known as condensate to foreign buyers. The buyers could turn the oil into gasoline, jet fuel and diesel.

The shipments could begin as soon as August and are likely to be small, people familiar with the matter said. It isn’t clear how much oil the two companies are allowed to export under the rulings, which were issued since the start of this year. The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security approved the moves using a process known as a private ruling.

For now, the rulings apply narrowly to the two companies, which said they sought permission to export processed condensate from south Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale formation. The government’s approval is likely to encourage similar requests from other companies, and the Commerce Department is working on industrywide guidelines that could make it even easier for companies to sell U.S. oil abroad.

In a statement Tuesday night, the Commerce Department said there has been “no change in policy on crude oil exports.”

“No change in policy”? Right. Who do you trust, the Commerce Department or your lying eyes? Trust me; as the article points out, the floodgates for these applications will open wide.

As the article makes clear, the original reasoning had to do with the politics of the oil embargo itself. After the ban, U.S. companies could export refined products, but not unrefined, or “crude.” The modern justification for lifting the ban has to do with … profit.

[A]s drilling companies tap shale formations across the U.S., so much oil is flooding out of the ground that prices for ultralight oil have fallen as much as $10 or more below the price of traditional crude. As a result, producers have lobbied aggressively to relax the export ban, saying they could get a higher price from foreign buyers than from U.S. refiners.

Why worry about climate change when there’s money? That’s not oil in those tankers and pipelines; that’s cash. And it’s Obama’s job, and every other president’s so far, to not get between the owners of carbon and their profit-making (sorry, job-creating).

Obama’s words and your lying eyes

Your takeaway? This is another example of Obama protecting the profits of the carbon industry, while at the same time he laments the damage it does. Obama’s words, spoken to a recent commencement audience at UC Irvine:

[S]ince this is a very educated group, you already know the science.  Burning fossil fuels release carbon dioxide.  Carbon dioxide traps heat.  Levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere are higher than they’ve been in 800,000 years.

How is that not totally explicit? How is that not the perfect problem statement? It sounds like he believes it, understands it. More:

We know the trends.  The 18 warmest years on record have all happened since you graduates were born.  We know what we see with our own eyes.  Out West, firefighters brave longer, harsher wildfire seasons; states have to budget for that.  Mountain towns worry about what smaller snowpacks mean for tourism.  Farmers and families at the bottom worry about what it will mean for their water.  In cities like Norfolk and Miami, streets now flood frequently at high tide.  Shrinking icecaps have National Geographic making the biggest change in its atlas since the Soviet Union broke apart.

So the question is not whether we need to act.  The overwhelming judgment of science, accumulated and measured and reviewed over decades, has put that question to rest.  The question is whether we have the will to act before it’s too late.  For if we fail to protect the world we leave not just to my children, but to your children and your children’s children, we will fail one of our primary reasons for being on this world in the first place.

Yet “act” means deeds, and he’s damned from his own mouth. Read that again, then consider Obama selling coal off of federal lands. Or the news in this very story. Or the huge gift to the kings of the methane industry his top energy aide Heather Zichal just organize, right before they handed her a huge gift in return.

Who do you trust? Obama’s words, or your lying eyes?

His words fly up, his deeds remain below:
Words without deeds never to heaven go.

From Shakespeare’s Hamlet. You could look it up.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Gaius Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.


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Obama Loosens Four-Decade Ban on Crude Oil Exports

Sunday, 29 June 2014 11:45 By Gaius Publius, America Blog | Op-Ed

From the mouths of the Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required), we learn that Obama, via his administration, which we pay him to control, has opened the door to international sales of unrefined American oil for the first time since the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s (my emphasis throughout):

U.S. Ruling Loosens Four-Decade Ban On Oil Exports

Shipments of Unrefined American Oil Could Begin as Early as August

The Obama administration cleared the way for the first exports of unrefined American oil in nearly four decades, allowing energy companies to start chipping away at the longtime ban on selling U.S. oil abroad.

In separate rulings that haven’t been announced, the Commerce Department gave Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and Enterprise Products Partners LP permission to ship a type of ultralight oil known as condensate to foreign buyers. The buyers could turn the oil into gasoline, jet fuel and diesel.

The shipments could begin as soon as August and are likely to be small, people familiar with the matter said. It isn’t clear how much oil the two companies are allowed to export under the rulings, which were issued since the start of this year. The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security approved the moves using a process known as a private ruling.

For now, the rulings apply narrowly to the two companies, which said they sought permission to export processed condensate from south Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale formation. The government’s approval is likely to encourage similar requests from other companies, and the Commerce Department is working on industrywide guidelines that could make it even easier for companies to sell U.S. oil abroad.

In a statement Tuesday night, the Commerce Department said there has been “no change in policy on crude oil exports.”

“No change in policy”? Right. Who do you trust, the Commerce Department or your lying eyes? Trust me; as the article points out, the floodgates for these applications will open wide.

As the article makes clear, the original reasoning had to do with the politics of the oil embargo itself. After the ban, U.S. companies could export refined products, but not unrefined, or “crude.” The modern justification for lifting the ban has to do with … profit.

[A]s drilling companies tap shale formations across the U.S., so much oil is flooding out of the ground that prices for ultralight oil have fallen as much as $10 or more below the price of traditional crude. As a result, producers have lobbied aggressively to relax the export ban, saying they could get a higher price from foreign buyers than from U.S. refiners.

Why worry about climate change when there’s money? That’s not oil in those tankers and pipelines; that’s cash. And it’s Obama’s job, and every other president’s so far, to not get between the owners of carbon and their profit-making (sorry, job-creating).

Obama’s words and your lying eyes

Your takeaway? This is another example of Obama protecting the profits of the carbon industry, while at the same time he laments the damage it does. Obama’s words, spoken to a recent commencement audience at UC Irvine:

[S]ince this is a very educated group, you already know the science.  Burning fossil fuels release carbon dioxide.  Carbon dioxide traps heat.  Levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere are higher than they’ve been in 800,000 years.

How is that not totally explicit? How is that not the perfect problem statement? It sounds like he believes it, understands it. More:

We know the trends.  The 18 warmest years on record have all happened since you graduates were born.  We know what we see with our own eyes.  Out West, firefighters brave longer, harsher wildfire seasons; states have to budget for that.  Mountain towns worry about what smaller snowpacks mean for tourism.  Farmers and families at the bottom worry about what it will mean for their water.  In cities like Norfolk and Miami, streets now flood frequently at high tide.  Shrinking icecaps have National Geographic making the biggest change in its atlas since the Soviet Union broke apart.

So the question is not whether we need to act.  The overwhelming judgment of science, accumulated and measured and reviewed over decades, has put that question to rest.  The question is whether we have the will to act before it’s too late.  For if we fail to protect the world we leave not just to my children, but to your children and your children’s children, we will fail one of our primary reasons for being on this world in the first place.

Yet “act” means deeds, and he’s damned from his own mouth. Read that again, then consider Obama selling coal off of federal lands. Or the news in this very story. Or the huge gift to the kings of the methane industry his top energy aide Heather Zichal just organize, right before they handed her a huge gift in return.

Who do you trust? Obama’s words, or your lying eyes?

His words fly up, his deeds remain below:
Words without deeds never to heaven go.

From Shakespeare’s Hamlet. You could look it up.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Gaius Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.


Hide Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus