For years, the Department of Energy has been studying the potential economic effects of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.
In 2012, DOE commissioned a study that concluded the U.S. economy would experience net gains from exporting a portion of our nation’s abundant supplies of natural gas.
More recently, as I noted earlier this month, DOE released the findings of another study it commissioned which examined the impact of even higher export volumes of natural gas. This newer report modeled the macroeconomic impacts of global demand for U.S. LNG exports rising from 12 billion to 20 billion cubic feet per day over various scenarios projected out to 2040. It reaffirmed the conclusions of the 2012 report and found that more exports would produce more benefits.
In comments we submitted last week to DOE, we wrote that “overwhelming evidence [exists] to support expeditious approval of pending LNG export applications.”
Our submission also highlighted comments by Lawrence Summers, the former U.S. Treasury Secretary and former director of the National Economic Council, in a 2014 speech on energy exports. Mr. Summers concluded:
The question of whether the United States should have a substantially more permissive policy with respect … to the export of natural gas is easy. The answer is affirmative. The merits are as clear as the merits with respect to any significant public policy issue that I have ever encountered.
Another credible study has been added to the established body of evidence that we should remove all restrictions on LNG exports. It is long past time to elevate U.S. LNG exports and their benefits from theory to reality.