New York Times Backs Natural Gas Exports

Dec 18, 2012

Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg.

Raymond Keating, chief economist for the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council explains why exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) makes sense:

Advancements in technology have opened up vast resources of natural gas (as well as oil) in shale rock that were previously not accessible. As a result, natural gas prices have plummeted in the U.S. However, prices remain high in other parts of the world, and therefore, the potential exists for economic benefits to be derived from exporting liquefied natural gas.

This is how markets work. Prices send signals to producers to expand investment and production. Foreign demand boosts the incomes of U.S. energy entrepreneurs, businesses and workers, with added benefits rippling out through the larger economy.

Keating cites a recent Department of Energy-commissioned report that convinced the New York Times’ editorial page over the weekend to back LNG exports:

[W]e are persuaded by the report’s core finding that the benefits of selling gas to other countries would more than offset the modestly negative impact of higher prices for domestic users of the fuel.

The United States has traditionally maintained tight control over the export of natural gas, a fuel that it once imported, allowing it to be sold only in cases deemed to be in the “public interest.” But those restrictions have become anachronistic.

While concerned about how much of the natural gas is produced, the Times points out that liquefied natural gas “could provide a $47 billion boost to the economy by 2020."

Maybe this will get the Department of Energy moving on approving those LNG export terminal projects.

[h/t Hot Air]

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