FCC Makes $300 Million Available For Rural Landline Broadband

December 2011, Vol. 66 No. 12

Wastewater that is not recycled is trucked to a publicly-owned treatment works (POTW) for treatment and disposal. POTWs are likely effective in treating only some of the pollutants in shale gas wastewater, such as the conventional and organic pollutants. These treatment technologies are not designed to treat high levels of TDS, NORM, or high levels of metals.

In the Barnett Shale area, wastewater is often injected into brine disposal wells.

Senate Committee Examines LNG Exports
Exports of LNG were the only issue on the menu at hearings in the Senate Energy Committee on Nov. 8. The Department of Energy has four applications from four different U.S. companies to export LNG. But groups such as the American Public Gas Association and Industrial Energy Consumers of America oppose approval of those applications to export natural gas to countries with which the U.S. does not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The DOE cannot block LNG exports to countries with which the U.S. does have a FTA.

The four companies with pending export applications are Lake Charles Exports, Freeport LNG, Dominion and Jordan Cove Energy Project. They want to export LNG to both countries with and without FTAs with the U.S. The DOE has leeway to block exports to non-FTA countries.

The DOE approved the first LNG export application last May. That was from Sabine Pass Liquefaction, which is now able to export 2.2 Bcf/d to both FTA and non-FTA countries.

The case for and against LNG exports are clear; but weighing them against each other is not easy. LNG exports create jobs and provide markets for domestic natural gas. But the exports could lead to higher natural gas prices in the U.S. That latter point is why the APGA and IECA are opposing the export applications.

At the hearings in the Energy Committee on Nov. 8, Chris Smith, deputy assistant secretary for oil and gas in the DOE office of fossil energy, said the Energy Information Administration was doing a study looking at the potential increase in natural gas prices in the U.S. which could occur if the four additional export licenses are granted. Smith did not say whether the DOE would wait for the results of those two studies before acting on the four pending export applications.

None of the members of the committee -- neither Democrats nor Republicans -- seemed to have much of an opinion one way or another about LNG exports, except for Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the top Republican on the committee. She backed the continuation of LNG exports from Cook Island in Alaska, most of which goes to Japan.