Part Of Trump’s ‘Energy Dominance’ Plan Faces Resistance From Big Manufacturers

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) docking port

A coalition of manufacturing corporations has challenged a core message of the White House’s “Energy Week” theme — making the U.S. a major natural gas exporter.

President Donald Trump wants to boost energy trade with developing countries, like India, that are hungry for U.S. shale gas. Big, energy-intensive manufacturers, however, oppose increased gas exports. His ultimate goal is U.S. “energy dominance.”

The Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) sent a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Wednesday, arguing that exporting natural gas abroad “poses a significant long-term threat” to manufacturing.

IRECA represents large chemical, metal, paper, glass and cement manufacturers. These companies have been able to take advantage of cheap natural gas resulting from the fracking-induced energy boom.

The group has asked the Trump administration to halt approving liquefied natural gas (LNG) export agreement to countries the U.S. does not already have a free trade agreement with, like India.

“President Trump has clearly articulated a fair trade and ‘America First’ policy,” IRECA President told The Washington Post.

“I believe when he is confronted with the facts,” Cicio said, “he will support what we are recommending.”

IRECA’s opposition to gas exports isn’t surprising. IRECA members Dow Chemical Company, steel producer Nucor and aluminum producer Alcoa have opposed approving LNG exports for years now. They argue exports would raise gas prices and hurt manufacturing.

IRECA wrote that “utilizing natural gas in manufacturing, as compared to exporting it, creates eight times more jobs,” in their letter to the Trump administration.

Trump met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday to discuss increasing U.S. energy exports. Trump said he is “trying to get the price up a little bit” by approving more natural gas exports.

Higher prices aren’t good for manufacturers or consumers, but it’s great news for natural gas producers who will likely increase output. That could mean more jobs in the gas fields.

Exporting natural gas would likely raise domestic prices while simultaneously lowering international prices — gas tends to be much more expensive in countries that don’t have vast shale resources.

A 2015 Energy Department study on the effects of exporting LNG found the “[n]egative impacts in energy‐intensive sectors are offset by positive impacts elsewhere.”

The U.S. is already selling record amounts of natural gas to Mexico and the Middle East, and more shipments are expected to head to Asia in the coming years, especially Japan. India already has several agreements with U.S. companies to buy LNG.

Experts say the U.S. could become the world’s largest natural gas exporter by 2035, but that could happen sooner if Trump ramps up approval of LNG terminals and global economic growth picks up.

Read more at Daily Caller

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Comments (3)

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    So companies like Dow don’t have plants all over the world ?
    Natural gas is 60% cheaper today than it was 10 years ago
    due to fracking and pipeline interconnect . Quit bitching IRCEA .
    No one says you should only make and sell your products in the USA . Put your lobbyist’s on to something productive .
    Draining the swamp includes self serving corporate lobby groups . Tax payers are not going to subsidize your businesses . You are sounding like the leeches in the “renewable ” industry .
    In short bugger off and work your own businesses instead of government .

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Sonnyhill

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    I see their side of the equation. If you operate in North America, you are burdened with North American wages, regulations, IRA, EPA, entitlements, lawyers, insurance, on and on. Third World countries would throw most of us in medieval dungeons for making eye contact.
    Use our cheap resources here. Create jobs here. Don’t sell crude oil, sell refined products. Build refineries here. Fracking was developed here, why should it subsidize foreign countries that buy our raw materials to put us out of work? In return, make life for the resource industry as sweet as can be. Create demand for them here. No carbon taxes. Voters will thank the not-so invisible hand (Trump’s).

    Reply

  • Avatar

    CaliforniaStark

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    Having a flourishing export market creates well-paying jobs for Americans who will then be able to buy U.S manufactured goods. Advocating for banning natural gas exports hurts the U.S. economy; its a form of government regulated price control. Should we also ban export of agricultural goods too so their price will be lowered? Sorry IRECA, if you want price controls try Venezuela.

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