New Coalition Goes to Bat for Natural-Gas Exports

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Liquefied-natural gas exports are fueling debate in the capital. (KHALED FAZAA/AFP/Getty Images)
National Journal
Clare Foran
Feb. 6, 2014, 6:06 a.m.

Oil and nat­ur­al gas in­dustry stake­hold­ers and pro-busi­ness groups have launched a new co­ali­tion to lobby for ex­pan­ded li­que­fied-nat­ur­al-gas ex­ports.

The co­ali­tion, which has taken the name “Our En­ergy Mo­ment,” of­fi­cially de­b­uted on Wed­nes­day and is made up of a num­ber of con­stitu­ent mem­bers, in­clud­ing re­gion­al cham­bers of com­merce, and oil and nat­ur­al-gas boost­ers such as the Louisi­ana Oil and Gas As­so­ci­ation, Sem­pra LNG, and the South Texas En­ergy and Eco­nom­ic Roundtable.

De­bate over LNG ex­ports has flared up on in the na­tion’s cap­it­al in re­cent months, with sup­port­ers of in­creased ex­ports say­ing that an un­res­tric­ted flow of nat­ur­al gas abroad will bol­ster the do­mest­ic eco­nomy. Op­pon­ents of ex­pan­ded ex­port ar­gue that a rise in LNG ship­ments headed for glob­al mar­kets will prompt a surge in nat­ur­al-gas prices at home.

Charles Ebinger, dir­ect­or of the en­ergy-se­cur­ity ini­ti­at­ive at the Brook­ings In­sti­tu­tion, lauded the co­ali­tion.

“Once a ma­jor im­port­er of en­ergy, the U.S. is now poised to be­come a net pro­du­cer of nat­ur­al gas,” Ebinger said in a state­ment an­noun­cing the launch of the co­ali­tion. “Our En­ergy Mo­ment is be­ing launched to raise aware­ness of the his­tor­ic op­por­tun­ity for the U.S. to as­sert glob­al en­ergy lead­er­ship, strengthen its eco­nomy, and cre­ate Amer­ic­an jobs by ex­pand­ing do­mest­ic and in­ter­na­tion­al mar­kets for U.S. nat­ur­al gas.”

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