Wednesday, January 23, 2013
America’s Natural Gas Alliance strongly supports the country’s ability to export natural gas. As is the case with any product or commodity, when free trade is allowed to flourish our economy enjoys greater prosperity, our people greater economic benefits, and our workers more and better jobs. Imposing arbitrary limits on free trade, including exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), would be an economically short-sighted mistake.
Reliable energy will be needed to meet the needs of a growing domestic and global economy. We need cleaner energy and we need abundant and domestic energy to grow our economy and create jobs here at home. North America's abundant supplies of natural gas will be a big part of the supply picture. Our natural gas resource is vast. The shale gas resource has revolutionized the scale and future energy supply in this country.
Because of its abundant supply and world-class capability and infrastructure, the U.S. now has new opportunities to capture significant benefits by both expanding domestic markets and expanding into international markets for natural gas. The recently released Department of Energy (DOE) report on natural gas exports concludes that exporting natural gas, via LNG technology, will generate net economic benefit to the U.S. economy. Economies of scale realized through increased natural gas production and related job creation, revenue, and improved balance of payments from export trade will all accrue from free, open, and transparent markets.
A small number of companies, however, are seeking to limit the export of LNG. America’s Energy Advantage, a coalition backed by a few large domestic natural gas users, defends its position based on estimates for natural gas demand that are more than 50% higher than DOE estimates and a flawed analysis of the impact of U.S. natural gas exports on domestic prices. Their position, in opposition to LNG exports, is fundamentally contrary to basic economic principles, as well as longstanding U.S. efforts to expand international trade. Such limits would deny the U.S. opportunities to substantially improve economic growth while creating new jobs and government revenues through new energy resource development.
As the DOE considers and evaluates comments on the recent LNG export study, ANGA encourages the department to consider the full range of benefits that will accrue to the U.S. Those benefits include the enhanced energy security and economic prosperity that will be achieved by supporting the open and free trade of LNG.