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Russia Plays Role in Government Stand-Offs on Natural Gas Versus Environment

With President Obama's recent nightmare over Russian agression, four Colorado Republicans are also fighting to increase US exports of natural gas (liquified natural gas) to.".. counter Russian agression," wrote Reps. Cory Gardner, Mike Coffman, Scott Tipton and Doug Lamborn. Louisiana Republican also are complaining over any intervention over natural gas production and its export anywhere. Yet, Obama claimed yesterday that Europe should develop its own resources.

President Obama at a briefing today
Photo by Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images

"I think it is useful for Europe to look at its own energy assets, as well as how the United States can supply additional energy assets," the President said in Brussels. Although the U.S. could be helpful, the President also stated that Europe and the U.S. are "...making choices and taking on some of the difficulties and challenges of energy development," said the President.

Primary to the opposition in government and the media is the pending nomination of Rhea Suh to be Assistant Interior Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The nominee went through second hearings earlier this year but Chairwoman Mary Landrieu has had to contend with significant opposition, especially from Louisiana lawmakers.

Landrieu was sent a letter yesterday from the Louisiana's House GOP delegation, which includes her top Republican challenger last fall, imploring her to oppose Suh's nomination because of previous comments that natural gas development in the inter-mountain West and Canada is "...easily the single greatest threat to the ecological integrity of the West."

The press is reacting to Suh's pending nomination as well, mainly those representing business enterprise. The Wall Street Journal editorial board contends that Suh would use legislation and endangered species designations to block oil and gas drilling across the West.

"Democrats who vote for Ms. Suh are endorsing a worldview that is hostile to one of the American economy's few bright spots," stated the WSJ

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that "America's emergency stockpile of oil stands twice as large as the amount required by an international pact," Bloomberg writes.

In addition to the stated scuffles, the US Fish and Wildlife Service are purportedly refusing to hand over documents related to enforcement of environmental laws at wind farms that have caused the deaths of eagles and other protected birds, according to House Republican Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.). Hastings alleges that the Fish and Wildlife Service has participated in a "...deliberate slow rolling of documents and answers for nearly a year." AP

However, Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe dismissed the accusation during a Congressional hearing on Wednesday, stating he and the FWS have made "...super-human efforts to fulfill the committee's requests for information but that the volume of documents sought and timeframe for producing them were "completely unreasonable."

Koch Industries, long known for their Republican interests and environmental disregard, is being called to task by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. Henry Waxman to disclose any financial interests in Keystone XL. The Washington Post reported last week that a Kock subsidiary leases approxiamtely 1.1 million acres in Canada, and the lawmakers cite Koch brothers-affiliated organizations have backed campaigns to support Keystone XL. The letter states that it would be a public and Congressional disservice to be misleading about Koch Industries' interests in Keystone XL and its economic interests in legislation.

It would seem there's never enough to do for President Obama but the issue of renewable energy, natural gas and its effect on global warming are undeniable and irrefutable.

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