Exporting natural gas produces a number of benefits to the U.S. Start with the stimulus to domestic production and the jobs that would be supported. First, the chart above, from a Rice University study, shows that under a variety of export scenarios, most of the increase in LNG exports is accommodated by expanded domestic output rather than reductions in domestic demand. Increased natural gas production here at home supports thousands of additional jobs. An IHS report estimates that for every 1 Bcf/d of
shale gas production, approximately 32,000 total jobs
are supported throughout the economy. Additional LNG
exports could contribute as much as $10 billion to
$31 billion per state to the economies of natural gas-producing
states. Non-natural gas producing states also
will benefit from increased demand for steel, cement,
equipment and other goods. More broadly, various
studies have found that higher levels of LNG exports will
yield economic gains for the U.S.
Exports will benefit the U.S. manufacturing sector.
Increased natural gas production leads to an increase
in natural gas liquids (NGL), which are used as
petrochemical feedstocks. ICF International examined the impacts
of LNG exports and found that NGL volumes would
increase between 138,000 and 555,000 barrels per
day (bpd) by 2035. An increase in NGL supply helps to
preserve affordable NGL prices, according to ICF, and
this benefits domestic manufacturing industries.
U.S. LNG exports offer an alternative and reliable energy source to the global marketplace, providing international consumers with greater choice of supply, helping to curb the use of energy as a political weapon.
Environmentally, U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide
emissions in 2015 were 12 percent below 2005 levels,
mainly due to the increased use of natural gas by
power generators. Exporting U.S. LNG also will help
reduce global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). ICF estimates that exported LNG will have GHG
emissions 43 to 52 percent lower than the dominant
fuel. Further, an Energy Department study concluded
that U.S. natural gas consumed in Europe or Asia has
lower life cycle GHG emissions than power generation
from regional coal.