Political Equation For Offshore Drilling On Virginia Coast Changing Thanks To Russia | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Political Equation For Offshore Drilling On Virginia Coast Changing Thanks To Russia

Play associated audio

Lawmakers are debating whether to export more natural gas to combat Russian threats to cut off its gas supplies to Europe as the political calculations are shifting in Virginia and across the country.

President Barack Obama has implemented a moratorium on drilling for natural gas off Virginia’s coast, but the state’s lawmakers say political pressure from Russia may change the White House’s calculation.

This week many lawmakers who were dubious of exporting more natural gas overseas became more open to the idea in order to compete with Russia’s dominance over European markets. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) says this is a perfect storm.

“This is a combination of Ukraine is posing the question in a stark way, but also just the changes in energy issues over the last couple of years is making us realize that this is one potential tool of diplomacy that we should explore,” Kaine says.

But Mike Tidwell of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation says lawmakers are making a mistake if they think exporting more gas will have an influence on European markets, because any changes to export laws will take years to implement.

“This is a polluting, climate changing energy that’s best left in the ground and best left in the United States," Tidwell says. "It’s going to raise prices if we export it and it won't solve any geopolitical intrigue overseas.”

Senator Kaine says he thinks the Senate may debate the issue in the coming weeks, though no vote has been scheduled.

NPR

Searching For Buried Treasure In China, A Writer Discovers Himself

During the Sino-Japanese War, Huan Hsu's great-great-grandfather buried his vast porcelain collection to keep it safe. Hsu went to find it 70 years later, on a trip about more than missing china.
NPR

Cheez Whiz Helped Spread Processed Foods. Will It Be Squeezed Out?

Turns out, the history of Kraft's dull-orange cheese spread says a lot about the processed food industry — and where it might be headed as Kraft and Heinz merge.
NPR

Proposed Payday Industry Regulations Must Strike Delicate Balance

The federal government is moving to reign in the payday loan industry, which critics say traps consumers in a damaging cycle of debt. A look at the possible effects of proposed regulations.
NPR

App That Aims To Make Books 'Squeaky Clean' Draws Ire From Edited Writers

Clean Reader — an app designed to find, block and replace profanity in books — has drawn considerable criticism from authors. This week, makers of the app announced they would no longer sell e-books.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.