Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Politics of Natural Gas

U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, the Muskogee Democrat who is the co-leader of a special congressional group that promotes natural gas, released a letter today that he and a Pennsylvania Republican sent to President Barack Obama.
The letter, written with Rep. Tim Murphy, whose state is cashing in on a natural gas boom, invites Obama to meet with the Natural Gas Caucus.
Despite his attention to developing clean energy, Obama has given short shrift to natural gas, according to those in the industry. It’s yet to be seen whether natural gas will have a specific role in an energy/climate change bill expected to be unveiled soon in the U.S. Senate.
Here is the letter sent to Obama:
April 7, 2010
The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President,
As leaders of the House Congressional Natural Gas Caucus, we are deeply committed to opening a dialogue on national energy policy and the role we believe natural gas can play in powering the nation in a new direction.
For more than 100 years, natural gas has been a key contributor to our economic growth. Today, millions of Americans are still employed by the natural gas industry. Thanks to recent technological advances, the emerging possibilities for this resource – and the promise of even more jobs as a result – are compelling. If we unleash the full power of America’s natural gas resources, we can create millions of new jobs for hard-working Americans while making our country more energy independent and protecting our environment. Allowing domestic natural gas production to flourish also will generate hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue for federal and state governments, providing a lifeline for our struggling economy.
The Congressional Natural Gas Caucus is a bipartisan group of 81 Members dedicated to championing the use of clean, plentiful, domestic natural gas. We are committed to informing and educating Members of Congress, and the American people, about this clean-burning fuel option. We are focused on discovering environmentally-friendly ways to produce natural gas and explore ways it can help meet our country’s energy needs.
We are greatly encouraged by your recent remarks in the State of the Union Address, during which you highlighted the need for “more production, more efficiency, more incentives” in order to create new clean energy jobs. We agree with your comments at a Tampa, Florida town hall meeting on January 28, 2010 that “we have to increase production on natural gas, because we’re not going to be able to get all our clean energy up and running quickly enough to meet all of our economic growth needs.” We endorse your belief expressed at the GOP House Issues Conference on January 29, 2010 that the United States must lead in “developing our natural gas resources in the most effective way” because “if we’re not leading, those other countries are going to be leading.” We applaud your statement at a February 9, 2010 news conference that increasing our natural gas production in an environmentally-sustainable way should e part of a package with our development of clean energy.”
In other words, we share your view that America must start making tough decisions about the practical and possible means of powering our future for tomorrow and for generations to come. We cordially invite you to meet with Members of the Natural Gas Caucus and discuss with us your vision for the future of this critical American industry. Please allow us to arrange an opportunity to meet that is convenient to your schedule.
We look forward to your comments and to working with you to achieve our common goals of energy independence, environmental health and economic prosperity. Thank you, in advance for your time and consideration of this request.
Rep. Dan Boren
Co-Chair of the Natural Gas Caucus
Rep. Tim Murphy
Co-Chair of the Natural Gas Caucus

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