Exports of abundant American natural gas can be a reliable solution to meeting Europe’s growing demand of the clean-burning fuel, testified academics, foreign policy experts and lawmakers during a U.S. Senate hearing last week.
Over the past decade, the United States has emerged as the world’s top natural gas producer, thanks in large part to abundant shale gas production throughout the Appalachian region.
By expanding domestic liquefied natural gas exports, the U.S. can realize both economic and geopolitical gains, while alleviating the pressure on European allies to buy Russian natural gas.
“Secretary Perry has stated that every molecule of energy that the United States exports is exporting freedom to the world,” said Steven Winberg, the Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy, calling U.S. LNG exports to Europe a “win-win”. “The United States has the natural gas supplies to spread freedom throughout the world by giving our allies a safe and reliable energy supply, and we look forward to working with our European allies to bring more U.S. natural gas to the continent moving forward.”
Here are some highlights from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing titled “The Role of U.S. LNG in Meeting European Energy Demand”:
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Chairman, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources:
“Through technological advancements, the U.S. has emerged as the largest gas producing nation in the world and is fast becoming a global leader in LNG exports. According to IEA, gas imports to Europe are expected to rise almost 20 percent by 2040. Our nation is well-positioned then to assist our allies in diversifying their energy supplies and achieving a level of energy security.”
Honorable Steven Winberg, Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy, U.S. Department of Energy:
“A recent study commissioned by the Department of Energy and prepared by NERA Economic Consulting, shows that increasing U.S. LNG exports will provide benefits to the American economy and the American worker. Additionally, the increased use of natural gas throughout our nation’s economy, has lowered carbon emissions to levels not seen in 25 years. …
As EU Member States decrease their reliance on generation from coal to comply with EU emission goals, European countries are becoming more dependent on gas overall. As a consequence, due to lack of supply routes and insufficient pipeline buildout, Europe is also becoming more, not less, dependent on Russian gas. Exports of U.S. LNG can be part of Europe’s solution to diversifying its energy supply.”
Dr. Agnia Grigas, Associate, Argonne National Laboratory:
“Due to the US shale boom, America’s LNG exports, and an overall growth in global LNG trade, the current global gas markets are marked by a transformation where there is greater competition and liquidity. …
Thus, the U.S. would be wise to take advantage of its early entrant and strong position in the global gas markets rather than leave these open to its competitors.”
Mark P. Mills, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute:
“Increasing domestic natural gas production has the potential to add millions of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars to the GDP over the coming years. But in the new realty, it is clear that the scale of growth in domestic gas production coming can’t possibly get absorbed by any growth in U.S. domestic demand. In all likelihood, not even half of the expected rise in output from the profoundly productive American shale fields can be taken up domestically. Exports of LNG will become an increasing critical if not the primary vector for new gas production.”
Click HERE to watch the full hearing.