Increased development of our abundant shale gas resource has upended the domestic energy landscape, delivering savings to American families and enhancing national security – but its impacts haven’t been contained within our national border. As the world’s largest producer of natural gas, the United States is helping spread access to affordable, reliable energy to countries around the world.
Thanks in large part to natural gas, the global population without access to electricity fell below 1 billion last year, according to new data from the International Energy Administration. This is great news – energy opens the door to education, to sanitation and health care, and ending energy poverty paves an economic pathway to better support families.
American energy supplies will be critical in meeting growing international demand, according to Frank Fannon, Assistant Secretary for the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources. This finding was recently reaffirmed by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, as he touted America’s energy dominance and noted that exporting U.S. natural gas is like delivering “freedom to the world”.
This transition to America becoming a net exporter of energy occurred thanks to increased production, greater capacity, and further investment in liquefied natural gas export terminals, Dr. James Conca recently wrote:
LNG terminal planning and construction in the United States has skyrocketed beginning in 2010. Just three years ago, there were only two operating LNG terminals, ConocoPhillips’ Kenai terminal in Arkansas and Cheniere’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana.
Today, there are 20 LNG and regasification terminals operating or under construction in North America, with another eleven approved for near-term construction.
Chuck DeVore notes that a mere decade has moved the United States from fearing gas shortages to becoming a serious gas exporter, predicting that we will become the world’s third largest LNG exporter within two years, behind Australia and Qatar.
The rapid expansion of critical energy infrastructure enables significant progress for developing nations around the world. In fact, this increased use of natural gas globally – supplied by the United States – will provide tremendous environmental benefits. Already the U.S is leading the world in CO2 reductions, thanks largely to the switch to clean-burning and abundant shale gas. By delivering this affordable energy to foreign nations, American shale gas can help reduce air pollution around the globe as well.
Accessing affordable energy is the most important factor in improving the lives of families and increasing the economic opportunities available in their communities. The whole world deserves access to safe, reliable, affordable energy and the human progress it enables. With increased production, greater capacity, and further investment in infrastructure such as natural gas export terminals, U.S. shale’s global footprint will continue to expand, bringing the many benefits that come along with it.
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