Washington, DC – A bipartisan group of United States Senators wrote to President Barack Obama recently to urge caution with proceeding with large-scale natural gas exports to countries that have yet to sign a free trade agreement with the United States. America’s Energy Advantage (AEA) applauds Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and their colleagues for supporting an energy policy that considers the impacts of LNG exports on consumers, businesses and the manufacturing renaissance underway in America.
Affordable domestic energy has led to the creation of hundreds of thousands of new manufacturing jobs over the past few years, the Senators explained in their letter. Unlimited exports of natural gas puts America’s manufacturing renaissance in jeopardy while also harming consumers. The Senators also explained how this year’s harsh winter should serve as a tale of caution, as short supplies of natural gas and propane raised household utility bills for residential consumers, a problem that could be exacerbated by unlimited LNG exports.
The letter reads in part: “Thanks in part to lower natural gas prices, America’s manufacturing sector has created more than 600,000 jobs since 2010. The Boston Consulting Group concluded that affordable natural gas prices could lead to 5 million more manufacturing jobs by the end of the decade. We must ensure that we do not squander what is clearly an American competitive advantage right now for American manufacturers and for the American economy…. It is imperative, both for American jobs and for the environment, that the Department of Energy continue to consider the public interest and the cumulative impact of potential exports on U.S. consumers and businesses before granting approval of natural gas exports to countries with which the United States does not have a free trade agreement. We ask that you pay close attention to the effects that large-scale natural gas exports could have on businesses, workers, and residential consumers.”
“We appreciate the leadership shown by these Senators and we share their concerns that unchecked LNG exports to our global competitors would be a lose-lose for American workers and households facing higher utility bills. We hope the Obama Administration and the U.S. Department of Energy gives special consideration to the important public policy concerns it raises as it considers additional shipments of U.S. LNG overseas,” said the coalition in a statement.
The letter is signed by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Angus King (I-ME), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Carl Levin (D-MI), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Edward Markey (D-MA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).