Americans opposed to the export of U.S. natural gas give many reasons for their position. But almost all of them are wrong.
The problem is that people underestimate the amount of this country’s natural gas and the potential effect exports could have on the world market.
Russia has swallowed parts of Georgia and Ukraine. No one is proposing that America send soldiers to defend those countries, even though we guaranteed Ukraine’s sovereignty in 1994 under the Budapest Memorandum. Instead, we can help our allies by diminishing Russia’s economic power over them. And that power rests on oil and gas.
America is overtaking Russia as the world’s largest oil and gas producer, and we could be exporting natural gas abroad, cutting into Russia’s markets. Two dozen applications to export natural gas, some dating to 2011 and 2012, are awaiting approval by the Energy Department. Potential exporters face political barriers because many believe the U.S. should keep all its natural gas rather than export it.
Here are four reasons for not exporting natural gas, and why they are wrong.