Dow Chemical slaps DOE LNG-export report

A major user of natural gas for chemical production has added to criticism of the Department of Energy’s report on the economic benefits of US LNG exports, saying it gives insufficient attention to the benefits of gas use in domestic manufacturing (OGJ Online, Dec. 6, 2012).

The report, prepared for DOE by NERA Economic Consulting, broadly supported the export of natural gas, production capacity of which is growing in the US through development of shales and other unconventional reservoirs.

The chairman and chief executive officer of Dow Chemical said the report gives short shrift to US manufacturing.

The report, said, Andrew N. Liveris, “fails to consider the tremendous competitive advantage that affordable, abundant domestic natural gas offers to the nation.” He criticized “the baffling conclusion that the US would be better off using its domestic natural gas advantage to fuel growth and jobs in other regions versus strengthening the US economy through manufacturing and benefiting consumers with lower energy costs.”

His comments echoed those of Paul N. Cicio, president of the Industrial Energy Consumers of America, who said the DOE report failed to compare the benefits of LNG exports with those of increased gas use in US manufacturing.

Liveris said, “The value of every unit of energy used by the manufacturing sector is multiplied by as many as 20 times from the production of thousands of high value products though the value chain. Compare this to the one-time value created by exporting energy as liquefied natural gas.

“Furthermore, for every manufacturing job created on the factory floor, five to eight more are created in the larger economy.”

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