A bipartisan group of 22 US senators, including nine from Northeast states, recently urged President Barack Obama to consider possible impacts on families that rely on natural gas for heat when looking to approve new LNG export facilities, according a recent article in Oil & Gas Journal.

“This winter, many parts of the country faced tight supplies of propane and natural gas, and families were left to face high energy bills,” the senators said in a May 8 letter to the president. “[It] served as a reminder that high gas prices can hurt family budgets and be a drag on our economy.”

Manufacturing in the U.S. also could be harmed by natural gas exports and the price increases that could result, the Senators stated. “Thanks in part to lower gas prices, America’s manufacturing sector has created more than 600,000 jobs since 2010,” they wrote. “The Boston Consulting Group concluded that affordable gas prices could lead to 5 million more manufacturing jobs by the end of the decade.”

The U.S. Department of Energy has authorized six LNG export facilities that, combined with existing gas export facilities, could export more gas than is now used in every single American home and commercial business, the senators wrote.

This export level “well exceeds the ‘high export scenario’ referenced by a 2012 [Department of Energy] study, which indicated prices could increase by up to 54 percent,” the letter warned. “Price increases of this scale could translate into more than $60 billion/year in higher energy costs for American consumers and businesses.”

Senators signing the letter included Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Angus King (I-Maine).

To read the Oil & Gas Journal article, click here.