Chair of U.S. senate energy committee says Washington needs adapt to new era of low oil prices – by Claudia Cattaneo (National Post – April 21, 2015)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

HOUSTON, TX – Canadians are not the only ones frustrated with U.S. President Barack Obama’s energy policy. c

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance said Washington needs to adapt to the new era of low oil prices by speeding up regulatory approvals and lifting a ban on oil exports that is imposing virtual “sanctions” on already ailing domestic producers.

Murkowski, chair of the U.S. senate’s energy committee, said many U.S. federal policies are “alarmingly deficient and outdated…[and] in need of modernization and reform.”

The last time the U.S. Congress passed a major energy bill was in 2007, before Obama took office and new extraction technologies boosted domestic oil and gas production, introducing an era of U.S. energy abundance, she told a meeting of global oil leaders gathered here this week for the IHS CERAWeek conference. More than 2,800 delegates from around the world are meeting in Houston to discuss strategies to manage through oil’s current down cycle.

Obama has said he supports an “all-of-the-above energy policy,” but has chastised fossil fuel sources like Canada’s oilsands while boosting green energy as part of his focus on climate change.

Meanwhile, new drilling technologies and OPEC’s refusal to pull back on oil production to match market conditions have thrust North America into the role of swing producer, because of its ability to quickly turn oil production on and off.

The much-delayed Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf is a “prime example” of the federal government’s failure to permit energy projects in a timely manner, along with banning energy development in prime areas in her state, Murskowski said.

“My basic philosophy is energy is good. Rather than divide by source, we need to come together and strengthen affordable, energy systems for our country and for the world,” the Republican senator said.

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