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Markey: Keep gas at home for security

Aug. 13, 2013 at 8:56 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- A U.S. senator said exporting domestic natural gas could expose the country to terrorism threats associated with Yemeni resource shipments.

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said in a letter to President Obama the U.S. economy may be forced to import more natural gas from Yemen if the United States starts exporting more of its own natural gas.

The U.S. Energy Department signed off on a recent plan to export liquefied natural gas from an export terminal in Louisiana.

Markey said the threat level from Yemen raises security concerns about the safety of LNG shipments from Yemen, which dock at Massachusetts ports. He called on Obama to direct the Coast Guard to examine safety measures at ports taking on LNG from Yemen.

"I also ask that you direct the Department of Energy to re-evaluate the implications of permitting exports of domestically produced natural gas on our ability to reduce U.S. imports of natural gas from unsafe or unstable regions such as Yemen," his Monday letter said.

Critics of LNG exports from the United States say it would drive up domestic prices and subsequently result in more use of coal.

Markey said in his letter there is a history of "possible terrorists arriving as stowaways on LNG tankers destined for" Massachusetts ports.

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