U.S. trade group opposes LNG exports

Sept. 13, 2012 at 7:58 AM

CHICAGO, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Any measure to encourage the export of liquefied natural gas from the United States would be a blow to energy security, an industry official said.

The Nikiski terminal on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska is the only one in the country permitted to sell domestic natural gas to Japan. A similar permit for Chenier Energy Inc. was awarded by the U.S. Energy Department this year. The company has plans for an LNG terminal in Sabine Pass, La.

American Public Gas Association President Bert Kalisch said LNG exports would interfere with a push for more energy independence.

"We believe this is an energy security issue," he was quoted by the Platts news service as telling a Chicago gas forum. "America is now in a unique position to make a significant stride toward energy independence. Let's not fumble this opportunity away."

Advancements in technology used to extract natural gas from shale deposits have positioned the United States as a world leader in gas reserves.

Kalisch said information from the U.S. Energy Department suggests exports could cause LNG prices to double, which he said would discourage a move away from coal.

Environmental groups have opposed more LNG export terminals. They say exports could lead to more hydraulic fracturing, an extraction method viewed by some groups as harmful to the environment.

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