Comply with The money: Three Vitality Export Congressional Hearings, Climate Undiscussed

In mild of ongoing geopolitical tensions in Russia, Ukraine and hotly contested Crimea, three (sure, three!) U.S. Congressional Committees held hearings this week on the U.S. utilizing its newfangled oil and gas bounty as a blunt tool to fend off Russian dominance of the worldwide fuel market.

Though 14 mixed witnesses testified in entrance of the U.S. Senate Committee on Power and Pure Sources, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Energy and U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, not a single environmental voice acquired an invite. Climate change and environmental concerns had been solely voiced by two witnesses.

Using the continuing regional tumult as a rationale to discuss exports of U.S. oil and fuel obtained mainly through hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), the lack of discussion on climate change does not imply the issue is not vital to national security types.

Indeed, the Pentagon’s not too long ago published Quadrennial Defense Review coins climate change a “menace drive multiplier” that might lead to useful resource scarcity and resource wars. Though immediately related to rampant resource extraction and global oil and fuel advertising and marketing, with fracking’s accompanying local weather change and ecological impacts, “threat power multiplication” impacts of climate change went undiscussed.

With another LNG (liquefied natural gasoline) export terminal approved by the U.S. Division of Power (DOE) in Coos Bay, Ore., to non-Free Commerce Agreement international locations on March 24 (the seventh thus far, with two dozen nonetheless pending), the heat is on to export U.S. fracked oil and gasoline to the global market.

So, why wasn’t the LNG climate trump card discussed in a loud and clear manner? Well, just consider the source: ten of the witnesses had ties in a method or one other to the oil and fuel business.

Senate Committee on Vitality and Pure Assets

Headed by just lately named chair U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), the March 25 U.S. Senate Vitality and Pure Resources Committee hearing featured four of five witnesses with business ties, all of which went undisclosed. It was titled, “Importing Vitality, Exporting Jobs. Can it’s Reversed?”

“The last thing Putin and his cronies wants (sic) is competition from the United States of America in the energy race,” Landrieu declared in her opening statement. “Tyrants and dictators all through historical past have had many causes to worry revolutions, and this U.S. power revolution is one they should all keep their eyes on!” More on that later.

Given the enthusiasim conveyed in her assertion, maybe it is unsurprising Landrieu whose state of Louisiana is an oil and gasoline industry hub like few others also has shut business ties.

Up for re-election in 2014, Landrieu has already taken close to half 1,000,000 dollars from the industry to the chagrin of environmentalists. Committee Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has taken $40,600 throughout this marketing campaign cycle, as nicely, though she isn’t up for re-election until 2016.

Daniel Adamson, senior counsel for the committee, labored as a lobbyist for pure fuel utility firm Avista Corporation from 2004-2010.

And now for the witnesses:

– Adam Sieminski: Before taking the seat as head of the U.S. Power Data Administration (EIA) in 2012, Sieminski worked in the fossil gasoline finance sector.

“From 2005 until March 2012, he was the chief vitality economist for Deutsche Financial institution, working with the bank’s global analysis and trading items,” explains his EIA biography. “From 1998 to 2005, he served because the director and power strategist for Deutsche Financial institution’s international oil and fuel equity crew.”

– W. David Montgomery: Testifying at both this committee listening to and the U.S. House Power and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Vitality and Energy hearing, Montgomery is the senior vice president of NERA (National Financial Analysis Associates) Financial Consulting.

NERA penned a study on behalf of the DOE published in December 2012 concluding LNG exports will be economically useful to the U.S. It lately published an up to date comply with-up study funded by Cheniere the primary company to obtain a permit to export fracked U.S. gas in Sabine Move, La., in 2012 concluding “limitless LNG exports benefit U.S.”

W. David Montgomery; Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot

Creator of a 2009 paper titled, “Organized Hypocrisy as a Software of Climate Diplomacy,” commissioned by the fossil fuel funded American Enterprise Institute, Montgomery is just not a climate change denier. He just would not think anything should be done to tackle local weather change.

“Making an attempt to bribe or coerce unwilling nations into curtailing their GHG emissions threatens to cause more harm than good,” he wrote in the American Enterprise Institute paper.

Montgomery sang an analogous tune throughout a March 2011 U.S. Home Committee on Science, Area and Know-how hearing:

“First, if the U.S. have been to act [on local weather change] with out strong assurance of comparable efforts by China, India, and other industrialized international locations, its efforts would make virtually no distinction to world temperature, particularly if industrial manufacturing and related emissions are simply exported to other international locations. Second, even international action is unlikely to yield U.S. benefits commensurate with the prices it might incur in making steep GHG emission cuts. Third, globally, even with reasonable emission reductions, benefits would not be a lot larger than prices, and, fourth, conflicting financial pursuits will make international agreements on necessary limits unstable.”

He has additionally accomplished work for the climate change denying assume-tanks just like the George Marshall Institute and the Heritage Foundation. Because of his track report, Skeptical Science has labeled him a “local weather misinformer.”

NERA’s roots return to working defense for Big Tobacco, as revealed here on DeSmogBlog.

– David Goldwyn: Goldwyn at the moment wears many hats. A member of the DOE’s Nationwide Petroleum Council, he is also a company legal professional for the firm Sutherland, a non-resident fellow on the Brookings Establishment and president of oil and gas trade consulting agency Goldwyn International Methods LLC.

Before opening up his new consulting agency, Goldwyn labored as Special Envoy for Worldwide Power Affairs at U.S. Department of State from 2009 to 2011.

While working for the State Division, Goldwyn created the global Shale Fuel Initiative (now identified as the Unconventional Fuel Technical Engagement Program) and its cousin, the Vitality Governance and Capability Initiative. These programs, in essence, are the State Department’s shale fuel “missionary power,” during which the Department teams up with U.S. fracking firms to teach “finest practices” to nations around the world.

David Goldwyn; Photograph Credit score: U.S. Department of State

A State Department cable obtained by Wikileaks via whistleblower Chelsea Manning reveals Goldwyn additionally helped Canadian oil companies develop talking factors to promote tar sands during his time working as State Department Particular Envoy.

Prior to working for the State Division, Goldwyn owned one other consulting agency called Goldywn Worldwide Methods LLC. It was during his time working for this consultancy that he did a few of his most ugly work with the very same “tyrants and dictators” decried in Landrieu’s opening assertion.

In 2008, Goldwyn lobbied on behalf of the U.S.-Libya Enterprise Group on the time the country was below the dictatorial rule of Muammar Gaddafi, who was killed in October 2011. Goldwyn scrubbed this detail from his biography once he bought a job on the State Division.

He additionally scrubbed out his former gig as an unregistered lobbyist for Turkmenistan, another U.S.-friendly gasoline-wealthy and oppressive dictatorship. Goldwyn did so as the previous government director of the U.S.-Turkmenistan Business Council, which was “primarily funded by American oil companies (Chevron, ExxonMobil, Marathon) hoping to do business within the nation,” in accordance with investigative journalist Ken Silverstein.

Though dictatorships akin to those in Libya and Turkmenistan are “usually a threat to their own folks, they don’t harbor or finance teams that threaten U.S. pursuits,” Goldwyn as soon as mentioned in a Congressional listening to in speaking to human rights considerations of doing enterprise in these nations.

And Goldwyn’s newest push: opening up the floodgates for U.S. oil and gas corporations to function inside of Mexico.

– Edward Chow: A senior fellow at the center for Strategic and Worldwide Studies’ (CSIS) Power and Nationwide Security Program, a conservative suppose-tank, Chow labored for 2 decades at Chevron.

“Whereas he was Chevron’s principal worldwide representative in Washington, he labored intently with the White Home, Capitol Hill, federal departments and companies, overseas governments, international financial establishments, and the international policy group on worldwide financial coverage affecting worldwide power investments,” explains Chow’s CSIS biographical sketch. “Between 1989 and 1991, he was primarily based in Beijing as Chevron’s country supervisor for China.”

Edward Chow; Photograph Credit score: YouTube Screenshot

Like Goldwyn, Chow has maintained shut ties with Turkmenistan. Wikileaks cables reveal he visited from March to April 2009 to supply “his assessment of Turkmenistan’s oil and fuel prospects” and talk about “coverage perspectives on improvement of the nation’s oil and gasoline sector” with the country’s Deputy International Minister Wepa Hajiyev.

As he disclosed in an August 2013 Congressional testimony, Chow additionally serves as an advisor to the State Department on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Pipeline. TAPI, stalled for years attributable to Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, is about to pump Turkemenistan’s gasoline to Fazilka, India, located near the Pakistan-India border.

ExxonMobil, which has an office in Turkmenistan, “has expressed interest in financing and working the pipeline mission,” according to the Oman Tribune.

Rounding the circle, in 2011 ExxonMobil gave CSIS a $four million grant.

U.S. House Energy and Power Subcommittee

The U.S. Home Power and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power listening to honed in on the proposed H.R. 6, colloquially known as the “Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act.” With 40 co-sponsors (38 Republicans, 2 Democrats), the invoice mandates expedited approval of LNG permits with World Trade Group international locations.

The invoice was proposed on March 6 within the midst of ongoing occasions between Ukraine and Russia and roughly one month after the Energy and Commerce Committee printed its report titled, “Prosperity at Dwelling and Strengthened Allies Abroad A global Perspective on Pure Gasoline Exports.”

“Passing this laws sends the clear sign that America intends to take full benefit of our power resources…to ensure the lifeline of U.S. gasoline supplies shall be out there to our allies, and that we’ll stand agency to Putin and supplant Russia’s affect, mentioned U.S. Home Power and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) in a press launch announcing the legislation.

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI); Photograph Credit score: Wikimedia Commons

Upton’s Public Disclosure varieties for 2012 reveal he invested $1,000 to $15,000 in BP, $15,000 to $50,000 in Chesapeake, $sixteen,000 tp $sixty five,000 in GE and $115,000 to $300,000 in ExxonMobil.

As investigative journalist Lee Fang revealed, subcommittee “workers counsel Patrick Currier is a former lobbyist for fuel and vitality firms, including the Fuel Processors Affiliation, FirstEnergy Corp, and the CCS Alliance…[and] chief counsel Tom Hassenboehler is a former lobbyist for America’s Pure Gasoline Alliance, one of the vital vocal commerce groups pushing to construct extra LNG export capability.”

Fang additionally discovered Subcommittee chair Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) holds between $250,000 and $500,000 in inventory with each ExxonMobil and Chevron.

Whitfield has taken $70,500 from the oil and gas industry throughout this election cycle and took $126,500 from the trade throughout his 2012 race for workplace.

U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield; Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Witnesses with oil and fuel industry ties included:

– Paula Gant: Gant is the DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary for oil and pure fuel. She got there by passing via the federal government-trade revolving door. She formerly worked as senior vice president for coverage and planning for the American Gas Association, a gas industry commerce association which supports LNG exports.

Paula Gant; Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot

– Anita Orbán: Author of the e-book “Power, Vitality, and the brand new Russian Imperialism,” Orbán sits as Hungary’s Ambassador-at-Massive for Vitality Security. She additionally testified in October 2013 in front of the subcommittee in a hearing titled, “The Geopolitical Implications and Mutual Benefits of U.S. LNG exports.”

Anita Orbán; Picture Credit: YouTube Screenshot

Orban labored at industry-funded assume-tanks Heritage Foundation and Hudson Institute whereas working towards her PhD at Tufts College.

– Kenneth Ditzel: A principal at Charles River Associates, Ditzel previously worked as a production engineer at Dow Chemical.

Dow is part of the chemical industry-funded coalition known as America’s Energy Advantage, which has rallied against the rampant push to export U.S. oil and fuel. But, given the corporate’s personal toxic legacy, it’s removed from an environmental voice and local weather change isn’t amongst its concerns.

Kenneth Ditzel; Photograph Credit score: YouTube Screenshot

Ditzel authored a Dow Chemical-funded report in February 2013 titled, “US Manufacturing and LNG Exports: Economic Contributions to the US Economic system and Impacts on US Pure Gas Costs.”

America’s Power Benefit which also got here out towards the approval of the Jordan Cove LNG export facility in Coos Bay, Ore., advocates for the State Department’s “missionary force” approach for shale gasoline diplomacy, as it opined in a press launch in regards to the Vitality and Power subcommittee’s listening to.

“To weaken Putin and strengthen our European allies, the Committee ought to be targeted on the export of American drilling expertise and know-how to allies so they can develop their very own home shale gasoline resources,” reads the press release. “It’s a lot better to show a man to fish than to give him a fish.”

– Dave Schryver: Government vice president of the American Public Gasoline Affiliation, which can be a member of America’s Vitality Benefit.

U.S. House Committee on International Affairs

The U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs additionally held a hearing titled, “The Geopolitical Potential of the U.S. Energy Boom.”

Committee Chair U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) took $10,500 from the oil and fuel industry for the 2012 elections and has already taken $thirteen,000 in the run-up to the 2014 elections.

Further, three of the four witnesses have industry ties:

– Harold Hamm: The chairman and CEO of Continental Sources, Hamm served as Republican Get together presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s power adviser during his race against President Barack Obama in 2012. He is also the chairman of the lobbying and campaign contribution powerhouse Home Power Producers Alliance and broke marketing campaign contribution giving restrict rules throughout the 2012 marketing campaign.

Harold Hamm; Photo Credit score: Wikimedia Commons

– Elizabeth Rosenberg: Rosenberg is a senior fellow and director of the power, setting and safety program for the middle for a new American Safety (CNAS). CNAS receives trade funding aplenty, from the likes of America’s Natural Gasoline Alliance, ConocoPhillips, Common Electric and Chevron.

Elizabeth Rosenberg; Picture Credit: U.S. House Committee on Overseas Affairs

Whereas removed from a strong evaluation of local weather change and environmental considerations, Rosenberg did mention “considerations in regards to the environmental and community results of the power increase and additional progress in unconventional vitality globally” throughout her testimony.

– Michael Levi: The David M. Rubenstein senior fellow and director of this system on energy security and climate change for the Council on Foreign Relations, Levi’s fellowship is named after and funded by the CEO of non-public equity firm big, the Carlyle Group.

Michael Levi; Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot

“Energy is likely one of the investment fields Carlyle focuses on, and it just lately escalated its energy holdings by shopping for a $424 million stake in NGP Vitality Capital Management (for ‘Natural Gas Partnership’),” explained Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.

Carlyle also co-owns a major oil refinery in Philadelphia, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, a joint venture with Sunoco. That refinery is a major recipient of oil fracked from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale basin, which is delivered to the refinery through freight rail.

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