The export imbroglio offers a classic example of Washington policy debates. This country has an abundance of natural gas that's cheap and clean. Other countries would like to buy some of it. Seems simple enough, but the administration has been pushing a revival of domestic manufacturing. It's nervous about embracing a fossil fuel initiative.
“So we're looking at a very wide range of factors that Americans care about — the balance of trade, creation of jobs, GDP (gross domestic product), the impact of prices on consumers and American families, the impact of prices on American industry, energy security, environmental issues,” Christopher Smith, acting assistant secretary for fossil energy at the Energy Department, said at the subcommittee hearing.
Translation: We're trying to figure out the political costs of doing this and the net loss or gain of campaign donations depending on what we do.
Lankford was having none of this. He pushed back with hard questions that needed asking. But the congressman can't make the administration do anything. He can only make a calm, rational, informed case for exporting LNG.
Which he has done, repeatedly.