Oil spill hurts climate compromise's chances, Graham suggests

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, May 11 -- The Gulf of Mexico rig accident and oil spill has made prospects for US Senate passage of a compromise climate bill with more offshore oil and gas activity bleak, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-Ala.) conceded.

“When it comes to getting 60 votes for legislation that includes additional oil and gas drilling with revenue sharing, the climb has gotten steeper because of the oil spill,” he said on May 7, noting that a compromise he and Sens. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) proposed late last year contained such a provision. Graham quit discussions with them about compromise climate change legislation on Apr. 30 after Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) would not agree to consider the issue before immigration reform.

Referring to an Apr. 19 letter to their colleagues from Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND), and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) in which they reiterated their strong opposition to sharing new federal offshore energy revenue with coastal states, Graham continued: “It doesn’t take long to conclude that opposition to expanded offshore drilling with revenue sharing has grown among certain Senate Democrats. Some have even declared energy legislation ‘dead on arrival’ if it contains an expansion of offshore drilling.”

He said he respects their views, but added that he has reached a different conclusion. “I remain committed to safely expanding offshore drilling because I know oil will be part of our nation’s energy plan for years to come,” Graham said. “Every barrel we can find in the United States is one less we have to import from [the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries]. And today, some of the dollars we spend on imported oil find their way into the hands of terrorists who wish to harm our nation.”

He noted that as a senator from a coastal state, he believes it makes sense to determine what happened off Louisiana’s coast, enact safety measures to keep it from happening again, and then build a consensus for expanding oil and gas activity on the US Outer Continental Shelf.

Cap-and-trade dead
Graham also declared dead the climate change bill instituting a carbon cap-and-trade program, which the full US House and Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved in 2009. “It has been replaced by a new model that focuses on energy independence, job creation, and clean air,” he maintained. “I appreciate the work of Sens. Kerry and Lieberman, who have been good allies in trying to move this debate in a new, more-productive direction. I am particularly proud of the efforts we have made in creating a renaissance in nuclear power, which leads to energy security and fosters job creation.”

Lieberman and Graham jointly responded that they appreciate Graham’s continued commitment to passing comprehensive energy legislation as they said they plan to roll out their proposal on May 12.

“We are more encouraged today that we can secure the necessary votes to pass this legislation this year in part because the last weeks have given everyone with a stake in this issue a heightened understanding that as a nation, we can no longer wait to solve this problem which threatens our economy, our security, and our environment,” they said on May 7. “Our optimism is bolstered because there is a growing and unprecedented bipartisan coalition from the business, national security, faith, and environmental communities that supports our legislation and is energized to work hard and get it passed.”

When it comes to improving energy security and reducing pollution, the American public finds the status quo unacceptable, Graham declared. “Many senators from both parties have stated that Congress should set energy and carbon pollution policy, not the [US Environmental Protection Agency]. I could not agree more,” he said. “Therefore, we should move forward in a reasoned, thoughtful manner and in a political climate which gives us the best chance at success.

“I believe there could be more than 60 votes for this bipartisan concept in the future,” Graham continued. “But there are not nearly 60 votes today and I do not see them materializing until we deal with the uncertainty of the immigration debate and the consequences of the oil spill.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

Statoil reduces capital budget by $2 billion following 4Q losses

02/06/2015 Statoil ASA has reduced its organic capital expenditure to $18 billion in 2015 from $20 billion in 2014. The move comes on the heels of a fourth qu...

BHI: US rig count down 87 units in 10th straight week of losses

02/06/2015 The US drilling rig count plunged 87 units, a decline that was again spurred mostly by oil rigs, to settle at 1,456 rigs working during the week en...

Oil-price collapse may aggravate producing nations’ other problems

02/05/2015 The recent global crude-oil price plunge could be aggravating underlying problems in Mexico, Colombia, and other Western Hemisphere producing natio...

North Reggane gas project development drilling starts in Algeria

02/05/2015

The North Reggane consortium has started development drilling at its gas project in the Algerian Sahara.

Oil production begins at Nasr Phase-1 offshore Abu Dhabi

02/05/2015 The first phase of Nasr oil field offshore Abu Dhabi will be producing 22,000 b/d by yearend, according to United Arab Emirates news agency WAM.

Woodside lets FEED contract for Greater Western Flank project

02/05/2015 Woodside Petroleum Ltd. has let a contract to Wood Group Kenny for the front-end engineering and design for the flowline system and associated proc...

Deloitte studies oil supply growth for 2015-16

02/04/2015 A Deloitte MarketPoint analysis suggested large-field projects, each producing more than 25,000 b/d, could bring on 1.835 million b/d in oil supply...

Inpex starts development drilling at Ichthys field

02/04/2015

Inpex Corp. has started development drilling in Ichthys gas-condensate field in the Browse basin, about 200 km offshore Western Australia.

BG’s 2015 budget ‘significantly lower than 2014’

02/03/2015 BG Group plans capital expenditures on a cash basis of $6-7 billion in 2015, a range it says is “significantly lower than 2014” due to “a lower oil...
White Papers

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...
Available Webcasts


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

When Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Prevention, Detection and Mitigation of pipeline leaks in the modern world

Thu, Apr 30, 2015

Preventing, detecting and mitigating leaks or commodity releases from pipelines are a top priority for all pipeline companies. This presentation will look at various aspects related to preventing, detecting and mitigating pipeline commodity releases from a generic and conceptual point of view, while at the same time look at the variety of offerings available from Schneider Electric to meet some of the requirements associated with pipeline integrity management. 

register:WEBCAST


Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected