Why the feds should allow exports of fracked natural gasI've been thinking about this a while, and it seems like such a no-brainer I will be deeply concerned about the future of our country if we don't. It would mean we as a country can't even make the easy decisions, much less the hard ones. Here are just some of the reasons:
- Produce lots more high-paying domestic jobs to reduce our still-high unemployment rate.
- Reduce the yawning trade deficit.
- Provide energy security to our allies like Europe and Japan.
- Displace coal plants which reduces carbon emissions and climate change.
- Bring desperately needed revenue to federal, state, and local taxing authorities.
- Studies show it will only barely raise prices with an almost trivial impact on domestic chemical producers. In any case, the United States will continue to have some of the cheapest natural gas on the planet, and will continue to be very attractive to energy-intensive industries like chemicals.
UPDATE 2/27/13: now backed by a bipartisan group:
"Although the panel dodged some fiery debates — such as how to tackle climate change and whether the Obama administration should approve the Keystone XL pipeline — the group was unanimous in saying the U.S. should not restrict exports of natural gas and other fossil fuels.
Trade restrictions would not further “domestic economic interests” or help slash greenhouse gas emissions, the group concluded, and exporting natural gas is likely to result in “only modest impacts” on domestic prices.
The position is particularly notable given the array of business executives and others that developed the 157-page report, including Exxon Mobil Corp. Vice President William Colton, Anadarko Petroleum Corp. executive chairman James Hackett, DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman and Ralph Cavanagh, co-director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s energy program.
Manufacturers such as Dupont have benefited from relatively low natural gas prices, and some environmentalists say exports would strengthen ties to another fossil fuel at a time when the U.S. and other countries should be aggressively pursuing alternatives."