Profits at Heart of Gas Exporting Strategy
Regarding Sept. 12 article “Dominion Is Cleared To Export,” I’m thankful the U.S. Dept. of Energy is confident we have over-abundant supplies, and vast untapped resources, of all forms of energy. Why are companies so eager to drill for oil in the very inhospitable Arctic? According to DOE, giving Dominion Resources approval to sell/export to Tokyo and New Delhi, 770 million cubic feet of natural gas per day for the next 20 years, is nothing more than spitting in the ocean
Dominion claims the $3.8 Billion Cove Point, Md., natural gas liquefaction plant will create 4,000 jobs. I know nothing about such facilities, but I know a little bit about the mathematics of U.S. corporations. My belief for the actual number of jobs that will be created is 50 percent of what Dominion claims, or 2,000. But 20 years from now, no one will even know the actual number, remember the Dominion estimate, or care about either.
Dominion also claims Utica and Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling required to satisfy the sale, will create 14,600 jobs in Ohio and West Virginia. That may or may not be true. I do not know how figure was calculated and I doubt it will be disputed. It looks great on paper!
They may have pulled the wool over the eyes of DOE, but not over eyes of Americans. First: if Tokyo and New Delhi did not exist, Dominion would still build a liquefaction plant somewhere in the U.S. (big bucks to be made) and create their estimated 4,000 jobs. Then perhaps they would even find some U.S. customers for the natural gas. Second: if Dominion itself did not exist, numerous other companies would create those 14,600 jobs, by drilling for that very same natural gas themselves. They would not stand by and watch the gas sit in the Utica and Marcellus shale, just because Dominion was not around.
In summary, Dominion did the numbers job on DOE, and DOE bought it hook, line, and sinker. The 18,600 jobs will happen even if no sales to Tokyo and New Delhi!
I hope readers haven’t made the common mistake of thinking Ohio and West Virginia natural gas would benefit Americans! That’s an old wives’ tale. Now that “the U.S. is an energy superpower” (said by E. Milito of the American Petroleum Institute), there’s much more exporting to come. Perhaps Beijing and Moscow will be the next warmhearted buyers, with other U.S. corp. the generous sellers. If spitting can create 18,600 jobs, lets make a tsunami and create millions!
Assuming things go as planned, present and future workers in the jobs referenced above can feel extra good all over. Their efforts will be rewarded by having the fruits of their labor go to Tokyo, New Delhi, and who knows what other foreign entities.
James R. Wisialowski