In the early 2000s, the U.S. was on track to become an importer of natural gas as resources ran low with numerous plans to build multibillion-dollar LNG import facilities up and down the country’s coastlines.
Now, the ability to access natural gas trapped in shale rock formations, using technologies such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, has led to a surge in natural gas supplies that have lowered American gas prices to a fraction of prices in other countries.
This abundant and affordable natural gas has given the U.S. a competitive advantage which many manufacturers are seeking to capitalize on with billions of dollars in investments already announced.
Some producers have applied for permits from the Department of Energy to export this natural gas to non-free trade agreement countries such as South Korea, India, China and Japan, where the price of natural gas is much higher.
But exporting too much natural gas too quickly could hurt consumers and slow down or stop the manufacturing renaissance in the U.S by driving prices back up to previous levels.
America’s Energy Advantage believes that it is possible to find a balance between exporting U.S. natural gas and using it to spur manufacturing.
Joseph Pratt, an energy historian at the University of Houston, has publically said that he also believes a balance is possible, but only with “careful public policy” that would limit the amount of gas exported so there’ll still be enough at a low price domestically to “underwrite this industrial revolution in America.”
Help us encourage policymakers to consider the ramifications of exporting too much natural gas and keep the price of natural gas competitive in the U.S.