It is a painfully hilarious testament to the power and influence the federal government affords to special interests that bureaucrats can at once actively and aggressively promote exports in certain sectors of the economy (agriculture, anyone?), knowing full well that free trade is an enriching boon to the American economy at large, and yet at the same time try to argue with a straight face that they just can’t be sure of whether increased exports of natural gas are really in the “public interest.” And yet, somehow, that is the interminable debate that has been holding up the more than twenty pending applications from energy companies champing at the bit to be allowed to export more natural gas.