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February 24th, 2012:

Debate Surrounds Race to Export America’s Natural Gas

American Energy Coalition - February 24th, 2012

Energy companies are honing plans to export natural gas faster than President Obama can call the United States the "Saudi Arabia of natural gas," and that's raising new questions about the country's energy policies, according to an article by Inside Climate News.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that U.S. natural gas prices could jump 36 to 54 percent if every export plan currently on the table goes through. Electricity prices could rise 2 to 9 percent, the report says. This is, of course, good news for the Oilheat Industry, if these projects materialize.

Even as the debate intensifies, energy companies are laying foundations to export natural gas from the United States, Inside Climate News reports. No export facilities currently exist in the continental United States, but eight companies have applied to build them. The size of the proposed terminals varies, but each would process between 1 billion and 3 billion cubic feet of gas a day, according to applications they filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). If all eight were built, their combined capacity would allow them to export about 18 percent of the 67 billion cubic feet of gas the U.S. consumes in a day.

"I wasn't entirely convinced until three to four months ago that the U.S. is going to be a big exporter," said Mikkal Herberg, an Asian energy specialist who teaches at University of California, but recent events and market conditions turned his thinking around. "The economics of sending U.S. gas to Asia are awfully good right now, assuming these shale gas supplies are as good as we think they are and that economists have confidence that these high prices can last."

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