January 24, 2012
Should the US take advantage of its sudden reversal of fortune in energy production and proceed with exports of natural gas? Three Peterson Institute experts say yes, while carefully weighing the pros and cons, including concerns of environmental groups.
The Department of Energy (DOE) is processing applications for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, responding to the eagerness of producers to take advantage of large price differentials between the United States and foreign markets. The DOE is tasked with balancing public interests in making the decision. Proponents, including natural gas producers and some lawmakers, argue that LNG exports will help the US trade balance and create jobs. Opponents cite environmental concerns and a possible spike in prices for downstream industrial users of natural gas.
The Peterson Institute's senior fellow Gary Clyde Hufbauer and research analysts Allie Bagnall and Julia Muir believe that the DOE should approve the applications. They cite the overriding importance of trade rules and the precedents set by US trade agreements and trade litigation as a basis for the approvals. However, they say, producers and regulators should proceed with caution and consider potential negative economic and environmental impacts.
To request an interview on this highly controversial issue with Hufbauer, please contact Brian Reil at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-454-1334.