WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Permitting the export of liquefied natural gas from the United States would provide a substantial economic stimulus, the API's chief economist said.
Groups opposing the hydraulic fracturing of shale natural gas deposits in the United States worry that allowing liquefied natural gas exports could lead to environmental problems. The Sierra Club last year issued a formal protest to the U.S. government over plans for an LNG terminal in Louisiana.
John Felmy, the chief economist for the American Petroleum Institute, said natural gas exports, however, would create an attractive investment climate in the country.
"Allowing the export of LNG is a win for the U.S. economy in the same way exporting our agricultural products, industrial machinery, pharmaceuticals, electronic equipment, chemicals, and thousands of other commodities and products is a win," he said in a statement.
NERA Economic Consulting produced a report last year under a commission from the Energy Department. The report stated that potential exports of LNG could have "net economic benefits" for the United States but not affect the country's overall employment picture.
Food and Water Watch said the industry's rhetoric on the benefits of shale gas is "a ruse."