Sergey Oboguev (oboguev) wrote,
Sergey Oboguev

The Obama administration has come out in support of the idea of exporting U.S. natural gas. This stance is counterproductive and shortsighted, and if followed, it will prove harmful to domestic manufacturing (i.e., value generation) and to future generations of Americans.

While exporting natural gas would certainly prove to be an economic boon for a very select minority of companies and individuals, it makes no sense from an energy standpoint and undermines our national interests. All it will do is enrich a few while boosting prices for all domestic consumers and shortchanging the energy and environmental inheritance we pass along to our children...


In order to export LNG, it takes energy to simply turn that energy into a liquid. How much? Roughly 25%. That's right; a quarter of the embedded energy in the natural gas is lost before it even makes its way to a customer.


In his 2012 state of the union address, Obama said, “We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years, and my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy.”

As usual, the all-important caveat – at current rates of consumption – was left off.

Well, if we increased our consumption by 7% per year – admittedly a high figure, but not unthinkable, especially if we use more for transportation purpose – the 100 years collapses to just 29 years.

Such is the miracle of compounding.


But let's make this more realistic. If we add a quite realistic 4% per year increase in domestic consumption to the equation, the 30 years falls to 25 years. If we then apply a modest haircut to the natural gas resources of 25%, we find that the U.S. natural gas supply falls to just 19 years.

Nineteen years. That's quite different from 100 years, now isn't it?

Without any question, exports of natural gas from the U.S. will simply accelerate the day when that finite resource runs out. Further, there cannot be any question but that as additional demands are placed upon the domestic supply, prices will rise.

This will hurt our resurgent domestic manufacturing industries as well as future generations that will have to contend with less domestic energy than they might otherwise have had available to them.

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