U.S. LNG Exports Deliver Economic, Environmental Benefits
Posted July 11, 2019
Exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) are set to jump a projected 72 percent this year compared to 2018, and the emergence of the U.S. as one of the world’s largest LNG suppliers is good news for the American economy. Research shows LNG exports could generate up to 452,000 U.S. jobs, and add up to $74 billion annually to U.S. GDP, by 2035.
The environmental benefits are no less significant.
Natural gas is the leading source of electricity generation in the United States, which leads the world in carbon reduction. Those two points are related – with the natural gas shift accounting for more than 60 percent of power sector CO2 emission reductions achieved since 2005.
We can export that progress – helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the world’s worst polluters. Case in point: China. In just the past five years, switching from coal to natural gas has improved Beijing winter air quality a remarkable 78 percent, markedly reducing nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter.
Meanwhile, the economic and strategic advantages up for grabs in the global LNG market are not lost on our competitors. Nations like Qatar, Russia and Australia are building the export facilities and transportation infrastructure necessary to compete. The United States has to be nimble to maintain our competitive advantage as the world’s leading natural gas producer.
It's also important to note that even while we have begun to export gas to countries around the world, domestic gas prices remain low. The fourth quarter of 2018 ended with consumers benefitting from the lowest prices in nearly a year, and those low prices have carried through – some as low as $2.56 per million Btu, at the same time as record high demand of 96.3 billion cubic feet per day.
America’s growing power as a major energy exporter is a win – for the economy, for the environment, and for U.S. security. Let’s keep it going with smart trade and infrastructure policies.
About The Author
Mike Sommers is the 15th chief executive of API since its founding nearly a century ago. Prior to coming to API, Mike led the American Investment Council, a trade association representing many of the nation’s leading private equity and growth capital firms and other business partners. He spent two decades in critical staff leadership positions in the U.S. House of Representatives and the White House, including chief of staff for then-House Speaker John Boehner. Mike is a native of Naperville, Illinois, and a graduate of the honors program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Mike and Jill Sommers, a former commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, have three children and live in Alexandria, Virginia.
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