DOE says natural gas exports will spur economy, even if it means higher domestic gas prices

natural gas exports

A report released December 5 by the U.S. Department of Energy found that by exporting natural gas, the nation's economy could generate up to $47 billion in new activity. And, according to the report, these economic benefits of gas exports outweigh the potential for domestic energy prices for consumers to increase, The New York Times reported.

Because selling gas to foreign countries could cause an increase in utility bills for Americans who use natural gas for heating and cooking, the Obama administration has been cautious to embrace the idea of increasing exports, the article stated. It could also raise costs for manufacturers who are now benefiting from cheap gas prices.

However the new report states the thousands of jobs created by developing export terminals and other benefits brought on by export activities take precedence over higher domestic gas prices.

Others are not as optimistic of the economic benefits brought on by a boost in exportation. The Dow Chemical Company issued a release December 6 saying the DOE used "outdated, inaccurate and incomplete" data in its analysis. It also does not consider the full extent of the negative impacts increased gas prices could pose for U.S. manufacturing company.

"The report fails to give due consideration to the importance of manufacturing to the U.S. economy," the statement said. "Manufacturing is the largest user of natural gas in the U.S., and creates more jobs and more value to the U.S. economy from natural gas than any other sector."

PennEnergy's research area offers details on U.S. gas exports.

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