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Sneak Attack on Natural Gas Exports

Normally we wouldn't flag a newly introduced bill that has no chance of passage (at least in this Congress), but this one deserves attention if only because its sponsor is arguably the leading contender for the Democratic Presidential nomination, and its purpose would presumably become part of her Administration's policy agenda if elected.

Under the false banner of trying to stop construction a new natural gas pipeline compressor station in Massachusetts, yesterday Senator Warren and her Massachusetts colleague Sen. Edward Markey introduced a bill which would in fact ban construction of ANY new natural gas pipeline compression station ANYWHERE if any portion of the gas in the line would "lead to or facilitate the export of natural gas."

That means prohibiting all new lines slated for construction to supply the many new LNG export terminals in the queue and consequently prohibiting the LNG terminal projects themselves; prohibiting increasing the capacity of existing interstate network lines through added compression if any of the throughput might end up going to an existing export terminal, and preventing the addition of new pipelines to supply natural gas to growing markets in Canada and Mexico.

Together with her commitment to ban fracking (which ironically would all but eliminate the need for any new compression), the Senator's policy agenda would tragically prevent the countries which are by far the greatest source of greenhouse gasses from lowering their carbon emissions by replacing higher-emitting fuels with clean-burning natural gas imported from the United States.

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