New York Times has a front-page story reporting on a major push in the Obama administration and by Speaker Boehner to increase exports of fracked gas in response to the crisis in the Ukraine. While events there are certainly disturbing, they should not be used as an excuse for ramping up dirty gas exports that will harm communities air, water and health in the United States.
According to the Times, a major push to export dirty fracked gas is underway, led by “major oil and gas producers like ExxonMobil and Republican leaders on Capitol Hill.” Just last Tuesday, Speaker John Boehner called on President Obama to “dramatically expedite the approval of U.S. exports of natural gas.”
Yet according to the Times, the administration is already moving to advance a “State Department initiative to export American natural gas to Europe as a lever against Russia.”
One of the craziest things about this, is that the U.S. currently does not have the capacity to export large amounts of natural gas overseas, and so the claim that building out infrastructure to export fracked gas would help with the current crisis in Ukraine is just disingenuous. Long term, we need to invest in sustainable renewable energy, at home and abroad.
ExxonMobil should not be controlling our foreign policy, and we should not be sacrificing communities across the United States for illusory and short-term foreign policy objectives.
As a movement, we have made tremendous progress, but if the oil and gas industry get their way, ramped-up exports would drive even more fracking. Ironically, as fracking accounts for a large amount of climate pollution, increasing exports and accelerating fracking will actually lead to more long-term instability and global security issues.