White House Refuses to Honor American Fossil Fuel Exporters

May 17, 2012

The administration honored 41 companies and organizations today at the White House for their contributions to increasing American exports.

After looking at the list of honorees, I see no fossil fuel exporters on the list. That’s odd because in 2011, petroleum products (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, etc.) were the top American export at $88 billion.

Coal exports have also shot up. The Associated Press found that they “topped 107 million tons of fuel worth $16 billion in 2011,” and they’ve doubled since 2006.

Surely there has to be at least one fossil fuel-exporting company that deserves to be honored.

In 2008, both Barack Obama and Joe Biden were saying great things about coal. Why not now?

Are they not honored because anti-energy groups like the Sierra Club wouldn’t be pleased? Or maybe it would conflict with EPA’s war on coal, something White House energy adviser Heather Zichal says isn’t happening.

Inexplicably, some in Congress have proposed to actually prohibit the export of natural gas or oil that might be eventually imported through the Keystone XL pipeline (when and if it’s built).

This is madness.  As the U.S. Chamber argued in a recent letter to Congress, doing so “would violate commitments the United States has undertaken as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)…. In fact, the United States recently challenged China’s export restraints on certain raw materials at the WTO, and the United States won a clear victory in the case. Restricting the re-export of crude or refined product from Keystone XL would violate the same WTO rules.”

American energy exports are a success story, it’d be nice if the administration would tell it.

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