The United States is awash in natural gas, which has depressed the market and led natural gas companies in Oklahoma and elsewhere to direct more of their resources toward finding and producing oil. However, the demand for natural gas is great overseas.
The administration has been cool to the idea of approving construction of liquefied natural gas export facilities, something U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, has sought to change. The cold shoulder toward LNG is a bow to environmentalists who, as part of their anti-fossil fuel efforts, have fought any move to establish these facilities.
But last week the Energy Department gave conditional approval to a plan to let Freeport LNG Expansion L.P. export up to 1.4 billion cubic feet of LNG per day from its terminal south of Houston. It's only the second such project to win the administration's approval; the other was for a terminal in Louisiana.
More than 20 other proposals are on the table from energy companies eager to tap the overseas market. Clearing the backlog could result in about 40 percent of the current U.S. natural gas production being exported. This could eventually push natural gas prices up, which would pinch consumers but also would benefit Oklahoma companies and state revenues.
The Oklahoman, May 21
This nation has been pinballing from one tragedy to another
At times it seems we are simply incapable of absorbing more grief.
From the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy to the shooting in Newtown, Conn., to the bombing here at the Boston Marathon to the latest the tornado that on Monday literally leveled the city of Moore, Okla.
Yes, the city of 55,000 today lies in ruins.
But improbable as it may seem now, the community of Moore, Okla., remains intact.
That distinction was made perfectly clear in the sight of first responders official and otherwise working through the night on Monday to clear the rubble that was once an elementary school, in the slim hope of finding more survivors. These are men and women whose children attended those schools, whose families gathered together at church, and who hurried their neighbors into shelters when the skies began to churn.
What greater sense of "community" can there be, after all, than a teacher who throws her body over her students, huddled in a school bathroom, as the tornado roars around them?
Yes, as we have so often before, we saw this week both the worst of Mother Nature and the best of humanity.
When terrorists struck Boston just a month ago the people of Oklahoma reached out immediately, because they understood our pain and our grief ... They reached out to us. Now it is time for us to reach back.
The Boston Herald, May 22