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US looks to military bases for natural gas, coal exports - Report

Coal News - Published on Wed, 17 Oct 2018

Image Source: NOLA.com
The Associated Press reported that the Trump administration is considering using West Coast military bases or other federal properties as transit points for shipments of US coal and natural gas to Asia, as officials seek to bolster the domestic energy industry and circumvent environmental opposition to fossil fuel exports. The proposal was described to The Associated Press by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and two Republican lawmakers. It would advance the administration's agenda of establishing American "energy dominance" on the world stage and underscores a willingness to intervene in markets to make that happen. It's also tantamount to an end-run around West Coast officials who have rejected private-sector efforts to build new coal ports in their states.

A Democratic senator from Oregon and environmentalists blasted the proposal as undercutting local communities opposed to fossil fuel exports.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Zinke cast it as a matter of national security to ensure U.S. allies have access to affordable fuels. The Trump administration also has cited national security as justification for keeping domestic coal-burning power plants online to prevent disruptions of electricity supplies. It's unclear which sites are under consideration other than one in Alaska. Experts said the possibilities are constrained by the need for a deep water port.

Zinke said that the administration is interested in partnering with private entities to ship coal or liquefied natural gas through naval installations or other federal facilities. He added it's still early in the process. I respect the state of Washington and Oregon and California. But also, it's in our interest for national security and our allies to make sure that they have access to affordable energy commodities."

Accomplishing that, he said, may require the use of "some of our naval facilities, some of our federal facilities on the West Coast."

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Wed, 17 Oct 2018
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