DOE study: LNG exports to benefit American economy

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released its study on the economic impacts of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. DOE’s analysis finds that the US economy will experience “net economic benefits” from allowing increased LNG exports. It found that the natural gas boom has helped create jobs and spur economic growth.

The report examined how specified scenarios of increased natural gas exports could affect domestic energy markets and the economy. According to DOE’s findings, “Across all these scenarios, the US was projected to gain net economic benefits from allowing LNG exports. Moreover, for every one of the market scenarios examined, net economic benefits increased as the level of LNG exports increased. In particular, scenarios with unlimited exports always had higher net economic benefits than corresponding cases with limited exports.” The report found that while increased exports may impact domestic natural gas prices, the cost increases would be offset by economic benefits and revenue gains.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) welcomed DOE’s findings, stating, “America’s natural gas boom has been a bright spot in our economy, fostering job creation and economic development across the country. As energy producers want to sell a fraction of US supplies to other countries to continue economic growth, DOE’s findings confirm these exports are a good thing for the American economy, consumers, and businesses. Given the positive findings, DOE’s report should pave the way for the agency to move forward with the review process for approving export license applications.”

DOE’s report came on the same day the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its annual energy outlook, which finds the US could become a net exporter of liquefied natural gas as soon as 2016 as domestic production is currently outpacing domestic consumption.