The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
American Shale Gas Goes Global

A new study commissioned by the Obama Administration predicts “net economic benefits” from exporting liquified natural gas:

In all of these cases, benefits that come from export expansion more than outweigh the losses from reduced capital and wage income to U.S. consumers, and hence LNG exports have net economic benefits in spite of higher domestic natural gas prices. This is exactly the outcome that economic theory describes when barriers to trade are removed.

Facilities like the one in Louisiana we mentioned yesterday could create thousands of jobs and bring in billions of dollars in manufacturing investment. Beyond these domestic benefits, exporting America’s shale gas could also help America’s allies, as the Wall Street Journal explains:

Pipelines from Russia now supply a big chunk of the natural gas to Western Europe, but alternative sources could undercut Moscow’s sway. In Asia, the U.S. can bolster allies such as Japan and South Korea by helping lessen their dependence on gas imports from unstable regions.

Greens fear that this move will increase fracking operations across the U.S. and lead companies to abandon the development of renewable energy. Once again, the President’s economic priorities clash with part of his political base—and once again, this “greenest” President in American history has disappointed his environmentalist fans. The American energy revolution is rolling on. We hope this means the President is finally getting on board.

Published on December 6, 2012 7:00 pm