Myths and Facts

The U.S. will soon begin exporting LNG.

Fact: LNG export facilities are capital-intensive projects that require long lead times. A new LNG export facility will need at least five years for permitting and construction before LNG exports can begin. While it is encouraging that President Obama has stated support for exporting LNG, to date four applications have completed both DOE and FERC applications and been granted full approval. Currently only one LNG project is actually under construction in the U.S., with first LNG exports not expected until 2016.

Myth: Exporting LNG will drive up domestic natural gas prices.
Fact: New technologies developed by the U.S. energy industry have opened vast new resources at low costs – over 100 years’ worth of domestic natural gas supplies.  Even if the Department of Energy were to approve all permits for LNG exports, prices for natural gas would remain at historically low prices, according to the federal government’s own analysis. A report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2012 – and updated by NERA in 2014 – quantified the net economic benefits of LNG exports and concluded that the economic benefits far outweigh slightly elevated domestic natural gas prices. Multiple studies by Deloitte Consulting, ICF International, the Brookings Institute and others have all concluded that there would be minimal and negligible impacts to prices resulting from LNG exports.

Myth: Economic benefits from LNG exports won’t be felt by the consumer.
Fact: The direct and indirect economic benefits from LNG exports are substantial and will benefit communities and multiple industries beyond the energy sector. According to a recent study by ICF International, LNG exports could add between 73,100 and 452,300 jobs in the U.S. by 2035. An analysis by NERA Economic Consulting for the Department of Energy found that LNG exports could contribute up to $47 Billion in net economic gains to the U.S. economy

Myth: America shouldn’t be exporting a resource we need here at home.
Fact: America has a plentiful supply of natural gas, enabling exports and more than enough supply to fuel our chemical, manufacturing and residential demands. The Potential Gas Committee found that the United States possesses a total technically recoverable resource base of 2,384 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), which is the highest resource evaluation in the Committee’s 48-year history, exceeding the previous high assessment (from 2010) by 486 Tcf. Most of the increase is attributed to new evaluations of shale gas resources in the Atlantic, Rocky Mountain and Gulf Coast areas. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the United States is fourth in the world of countries with technically recoverable shale gas resources. America’s natural gas resource estimates continue to be projected upwards because of improved technology, engineering advances, and infrastructure.

Myth: If we choose not to export natural gas in the near-term, opportunities to export natural gas will still be there.
Fact: If the U.S. does not move quickly to permit, construct and begin exporting LNG, several countries, which are developing their own shale resources, could fill the growing global demand for natural gas resources. From Australia to Mozambique, nations are working hard to develop and enter into long-term contracts to export their plentiful gas resources. The U.S. has a significant opportunity to impact the global energy landscape, while narrowing the trade deficit and adding domestic jobs and growth. The administration’s comments to date have been supportive, but red tape at DOE is holding up needed investment. It is important to let market forces rather than government bureaucracy determine the balance between supply and demand.