DOE Economic Study Finds Exporting Natural Gas Would Benefit the U.S.

Dec 6, 2012

The Department of Energy released a study today/ Wednesday that finds exporting natural gas would benefit the U.S. economy. That may clear the way for the feds to grant licenses to 15 proposed export terminals, including two in Oregon. Amelia Templeton of Earthfix reports.

Investors would like to take cheap U.S. natural gas, liquefy it, and ship it to countries like Japan where they can get top dollar. The Department of Energy held off approving the projects, saying it needed to do an economic study first.

Now that study shows exporting natural gas would increase prices for customers and manufacturers in the U.S., but not by much. On the plus side, the natural gas sector would grow, providing jobs, profits to shareholders, and boosting the GDP.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden called for the study. He says he's still not convinced export is a good idea.

Wyden: “Energy policy has been sort of a debate among various producer interests. I want to make sure that in the future our businesses, our consumers get a bigger place at the table.”

The public has until January 24th to send the Department of Energy comments on the economic study. The export projects will also go through a lengthy environmental review.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio