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US Lawmakers Want a Quicker Decision on the Fate of Exporting Shale Gas

The shale gas boom in the US has opened up the possibility for exporting LNG to markets around the world where it could be sold for far higher prices than at home. Obviously gas companies are eager to do this, but first they need the idea to be approved by the Obama administration and then local lawmakers.

Yesterday more than twelve Western state lawmakers signed a letter which was sent to Energy Secretary Steven Chu urging him to work faster on the review of the decision, after the Energy Department announced it would have to wait for the results of an important study that will guide future export decisions.

In the letter the lawmakers said that “we strongly urge you to avoid any delays in the approval process for pending projects and ask for renewed urgency in completing the macroeconomic study.”

One of the results of allowing companies to export natural gas is an increase in gas prices in the US. The Energy Department must determine whether the economic benefit from selling the gas abroad at a higher cost will be worth the increase in gas prices domestically.

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The letter also stated that “creating more opportunities to sell natural gas into global markets and access overseas customers could help the goals of increasing natural gas use and smooth out historical boom-bust cycles. Realizing sustainable natural gas prices will continue to stimulate the resurgence of U.S. manufacturing, power generation, chemical and agricultural sectors, as well as continue to keep costs low to heat our homes and fuel our nation’s transportation needs.”

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



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