gas exports raise prices for consumers?
How much of the United States' newfound bounty
of natural gas should stay at home, keeping prices low for domestic
How much should be earmarked for export in the form of
liquefied natural gas (LNG), at the risk of making natural gas
Those questions are the topic of the cover story in the
current edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the
weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world's
largest scientific society.
C&EN's Jeff Johnson and Alexander H. Tullo
explain in the story that hydraulic fracturing and other
technologies are boosting domestic natural gas supplies.
the U.S. actually may have a natural gas surplus, producing more
than the total domestic consumption.
Oil and gas companies already
envision construction of about 17 new LNG shipping terminals, which
could export LNG equivalent to fully one-third of current domestic
The article discusses conflicting views on how
exports on such a massive scale might affect prices paid by
consumers, including the chemical industry, which uses natural gas
as a mainstay raw material.
Exporters claim it will have little
impact on domestic prices and will have beneficial effects of
creating jobs and bolstering the economy.
Consumers worry that
exports will raise domestic prices, hike manufacturing costs and
undercut their international competitiveness.