In his State of the Union Address, President Obama pledged to combat climate change and to move forward with development of our nation's oil and natural gas resources. Fulfilling these commitments will include a key decision whether to allow unrestricted liquified gas (LNG) exports to non-US markets or to establish limits or regulation on the volume of LNG that can be exported. As a small business owner with an understanding of economics, I believe that unfettered export of natural gas offers indisputable benefits to our economy and to American energy security and independence.
The natural gas boom has the potential to substantially boost economic growth, while creating jobs and expanding tax revenue.
A recent report by the US Department of Energy recognized the benefits of LNG exports on the economy through new markets for producers and construction of new liquefaction and export facilities. Of 22 such facilities so far proposed nationwide, six are onshore or offshore in Louisiana, and the only LNG terminal with export capabilities and approval to export to countries with no free-trade pacts with the US is located in western Cameron Parish.
The potential impact on local and regional economic growth generated by these operations is considerable.
In spite of obvious economics and energy independence gains, some manufactures have raised concerns that natural gas exports will cause US fuel prices to rise, making consumer and other products more expensive.
While a stable, affordable source of fuel is essential to American manufacturers and businesses, I believe there is more than enough natural gas to cover domestic needs and exports, while keeping price relatively low.
Here is a case where the benefits of exporting LNG far outweigh costs, and I urge the Administration and Congress to move ahead with this initiative.