Ted Griggs’ recent article on energy costs related to liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports (“Unlimited gas exports threaten manufacturing renaissance,”) contains some misleading information about the impact of energy exports to Louisiana’s economy.
A small but vocal group of companies, led by Dow, have repeatedly and disingenuously warned of negative impacts of expanded LNG exports on America’s “manufacturing renaissance.” Numerous studies have demonstrated that argument is wrong and misleading.
The U.S. Department of Energy has actually raised its long-term forecast of natural gas production levels almost 40 percent more than estimated in its LNG export study two years ago, while future price expectations have declined by 15 percent over the same period. A recent DOE study update concluded that more LNG exports are feasible at lower prices than previously estimated, and will grow the U.S. economy by up to $86 billion.
Innovations in the energy supply chain have increased natural gas production at historically low prices, offering a rare opportunity for the U.S. economy to expand jobs and activity while maintaining a domestic fuel cost advantage for manufacturing. Even the most conservative natural gas production estimates show unprecedented growth in U.S. energy resources far outpacing domestic demand.
Despite Dow’s fear-mongering, expanding LNG exports would enable greater investment by the U.S. energy industry, expanding demand for products like steel and boosting production of associated liquids, such as ethane and propane, to expand petrochemicals activity. A stronger economy for the U.S. and Louisiana will benefit manufacturing, which is why national groups such as the National Association of Manufacturing support expanded LNG exports, as well as economic development groups here in Louisiana like the Committee of 100 and Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.
Charles W. Boustany Jr.
U.S. representative, Third District