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U.S. LNG exports

Tremendous growth in the availability of North American oil and natural gas has given the United States a competitive advantage and opportunity to capture economic benefits through exports.

Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel and is being used throughout the world to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Compared to coal, the use of natural gas for power generation emits 50 percent fewer emissions of carbon dioxide, and even more substantial reductions in traditional air pollutants. As the world demand for electricity continues to grow, the long-term outlook for natural gas remains strong. The United States Energy Information Administration reported that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions decreased in nearly every state from 2005 to 2013, even as U.S. natural gas production and use grew substantially.

Technology developed by the oil and gas industry has opened up vast energy resources across the country, which has resulted in a tremendous increase in U.S. oil and natural gas production and reserves. Those abundant U.S. natural gas resources, which can meet and exceed our domestic needs, while allowing for exports to a world that will need 40 percent more in supplies in the next decade.

Increased production has created jobs, strengthened businesses and investment and revitalized cities and regions across America, a trend that will likely continue to grow in coming years.

It has also turned traditional thinking about America’s energy and economic policies on its head. In just a short period of time, our energy public policy debates have transitioned from multi-decade discussions of scarcity and limits to growth, to discussions of American energy abundance and the enormous benefits that it can offer.

Recent studies confirm that increasing LNG exports will help to expand the American economy, create jobs and provide a cleaner-burning energy resource for power generation to international consumers:

  • A new comprehensive study from IHS Economics and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Center for Manufacturing Research reveals how increased supplies of natural gas have enhanced United States manufacturing growth and employment – adding 1.9 million jobs economy-wide in 2015, highlighting the positive impact to communities around the United States.

Read the full report

  • The latest comprehensive study released by the DOE in 2015 confirms that natural gas exports, up to and beyond 20 Bcf/d, will result in overall economic benefits for consumers and the economy of the United States. These results, combined with the 2012 DOE-commissioned study and a 2014 update of that study (both developed by NERA Consulting), reinforce the broad view that free trade increases economic growth and raises living standards at all levels of market exports. Allowing natural gas exports to reach United States trade partners will make the global LNG marketplace more competitive, offer greater energy diversity and security of supply and contribute to affordability of natural gas for importing nations. For example, LNG exports will enable Europe to diversify its natural gas supplies, with net mutual benefits for both the importers and exporters. Read ExxonMobil’s public comments on the DOE studies in a recent letter and a Perspectives blog post
  • The LNG export studies show that under all trading scenarios, the economic benefits to the country from liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports are significant and clearly outweigh any potential increases in domestic natural gas prices.

These studies’ findings are also consistent with other independent research such as the Brookings Institution study that projected positive net economic effects from LNG exports. If more markets are opened to the sale of domestically produced natural gas, then there will be more demand, more investment and more production. According to the EIA, moving toward the most robust pro-trade scenario would likely yield an additional 2 trillion cubic feet of U.S. natural gas production. That translates to more supply – and with it, more jobs, government revenues and economic expansion.

ExxonMobil supports the free trade of all products, including energy and encourages more energy development investment which leads to economic growth.