Get the facts
A recent Department of Energy report has received vocal criticism for its failure to take into account the role of U.S. manufacturing.
The Department of Energy has opened a window for comments on the report now through January 24th. Organizations and proponents of U.S. jobs are speaking out already.
The report, which weighs the impact of natural gas exports, makes the case that exports will increase economic growth, but it doesn't consider the billions of dollars in economic output and thousands of new jobs made possible by investment here at home.
The report also shows how exports would be good for oil and gas companies, who could sell more gas, but bad for everyone else, whose prices would go up as a result. We want a solution that is good for everyone -- producers and consumers alike, including Americans who heat their homes with natural gas.
Here are the facts you need to know about the DOE report:
- The report uses the outdated EIA 2011 Annual Energy Outlook, which does not account for increases and projected growth of manufacturing over the last two years.
- The report calls the U.S. manufacturing sector a "modest consumer of natural gas" even though manufacturing is the largest overall user of natural gas, at roughly 40 percent.
- The value-added to natural gas through manufacturing far outstrips the benefits of exporting the raw product. The manufacturing process can multiply the energy value by as much as 20 times from the production of high value products. Think of it as exporting lumber vs. exporting a wooden bench.
One thing the report does get right is that industries such as fertilizer, steel, and chemicals are the most likely to feel the impact of increased natural gas exports. When so much of our economic growth and low utility bills for homeowners depend on natural gas, unfettered exports are the wrong choice for consumers and American jobs.