The AP reports some bad news for anyone seeking a little security and predictability in the US and global energy markets:
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Tuesday he will delay final decisions on about 20 applications to export liquefied natural gas until he reviews studies by the Energy Department and others on what impact the exports would have on domestic natural gas supplies and prices.
Moniz, who was sworn in Tuesday as the nation’s new energy chief, said he promised during his confirmation hearing that he would “review what’s out there” before acting on proposals to export natural gas. Among the things Moniz said he wants to review is whether the data in the studies are outdated.
A study commissioned by the Energy Department concluded last year that exporting natural gas would benefit the U.S. economy even if it led to higher domestic prices for the fuel.
The AP adds that Secretary Moniz justified this delay as his “commitment” to Senate Energy Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) who opposes natural gas exports and has criticized the DOE study. Moniz’s statement comes just days after his department (quietly, on a Friday) approved one pending export application—moving the grand total of approvals to two out of 20 total applications, most of which have been sitting on DOE’s desk for several years now.
And who says the U.S. government isn’t swift and efficient?