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House Subcommittee Hearing Underscores Economic and Geopolitical Benefits of Natural Gas Exports

In response to last Thursday’s House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on the economic and geopolitical opportunities of natural gas exports, Bill Cooper, president of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas issued the following statement:

“Thursday’s hearing adds to the growing understanding that LNG exports are a huge opportunity for the United States economy, our workers and our geopolitical relationships. But we must act soon. As the witnesses stated, numerous economic studies have concluded that LNG exports will create jobs, increase government revenue and benefit consumers. CLNG urges the U.S. Department of Energy to seize the opportunity to grow American exports by selling a small percentage of our clean-burning natural gas to our trading partners abroad, which will create further economic growth here at home.”

Subcommittee members and witnesses from National Economic Research Associates, Labor International Union of North America, Council on Foreign Relations and Congressional Research Service recommended that the United States capitalize on the widespread economic benefits that LNG exports would bring to the nation.

Here’s what they had to say:

W. David Montgomery, National Economic Research Associates:

“…economic theory and practical experience clearly support the conclusion that free trade in natural gas is better for the U.S. economy than any system that restricts natural gas exports.”

David Mallino Jr., Laborers International Union of North America:

“The export of LNG can help drive additional U.S. natural gas production and support hundreds of thousands of additional U.S. jobs in engineering, manufacturing, construction, and operation of the export infrastructure, as well as others indirectly along the equipment supply chain.”

Michael Levi, Council on Foreign Relations:

“Allowing LNG exports would avoid doing damage to U.S. relations with allies and to U.S. leverage in trade organizations and negotiations more broadly. Actual LNG exports would also provide some security to U.S. friends, particularly in Asia.”

Michael Ratner, Congressional Research Service:

“As a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United States could be subject to cases under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade’s General Prohibition Against Quantitative Restraints if exports were limited. While certain exemptions from this prohibition may be granted, export restrictions may put the United States in a contradictory position vis-à-vis cases it has brought to the WTO.”

Watch the video of the full hearing HERE.