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U.S. Chamber: Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Exports Make Sense

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 7:00pm

‘Will Reduce our Trade Deficit and Bring Billions of Dollars into the U.S.,’ Says Donohue

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today continued its push for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports following President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue’s remarks last week during his annual State of American Business Address. Donohue declared that we have a historic opportunity to develop more American energy swiftly and responsibly.

“We are now in a position to export liquefied natural gas and coal, thus reducing our trade deficit and bringing billions of dollars into the United States,” said Donohue. “The abundance of affordable natural gas is attracting good manufacturing jobs back to America, particularly in the chemical and steel industries. All of this adds up to a lot of jobs, growth, improved national security, and more revenues for government.”

Recent studies indicate that the U.S. will see net economic benefits from allowing LNG exports. According to a study conducted by NERA Economic Consulting and commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), expanding LNG exports leads to much greater economic expansion than limiting LNG exports. “In all of the scenarios analyzed in this study, NERA found that the U.S. would experience net economic benefits from increased LNG exports. Across the scenarios, U.S. economic welfare consistently increases as the volume of natural gas exports increased. This includes scenarios in which there are unlimited exports.”

Other Chamber experts have also commented recently on LNG exports:

“We have more natural gas then anybody in the world,” said the Chamber’s Executive Vice President for Government Affairs Bruce Josten at the press conference following Donohue’s State of American Business Address. “We clearly should be establishing mechanisms to export natural gas. Let me remind you that we are signatures in the WTO, which prohibits restrictions of exporting raw materials. We can't go around the world lecturing and encouraging other countries to open up their markets and then turn around and close ours on raw material that we have boatloads of. We should get it all, we should bring it to our market, and really use it to the attract manufacturing…that went aboard a decade ago.”

“LNG exports will foster U.S. job creation, new tax revenues, and stronger international alliances,” John Murphy, the Chamber’s vice president for International Affairs said at the Chamber’s event, America’s Energy Exports: Shifts on the Horizon in the Global Energy Trade, on January 16. “At issue is the freedom to export. In fact, both history and trade law take a dim view of export restraints. Indeed, the notion that the federal government has the power to limit the freedom to export is at odds with U.S. tradition and law. In considering LNG exports, the U.S. should continue its proud tradition of support for the freedom to export.”

“There is a growing demand around the world for LNG exports,” said the Chamber’s Energy Institute President and CEO Karen Harbert at the January 16th America’s Energy Exports: Shifts on the Horizon in the Global Energy Trade event at the Chamber. “Natural gas is an emerging global market and it doesn’t make sense to remove ourselves from it. Allowing exports will not fundamentally change the economics of natural gas in this country. As defenders of the free market, we do not believe in artificial barriers and thus do not support obstacles to LNG exports.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.