Exporting Natural Gas Raises Hopes and Fears on the Texas Coast
From State Impact NPR
By Dave Fehling
If you think the price of natural gas is too low and think the solution is to increase demand by exporting the stuff, who will benefit?
“It’s going to make some people very rich but it’s going to hurt a lot of other people. Maybe a little, maybe a lot depending on who they work for and where they’re based,” says Craig Segall, an attorney at the Sierra Club’s legislative office in Washington.
The Sierra Club has registered its opposition to the one export terminal to so far win Federal approval, a project in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. The majority of the proposed or potential sites are along the Gulf Coast with a half dozen in Texas according to the Department of Energy.
Among the group’s concerns is whether regulators have fully considered how liquified natural gas (LNG) exports might further increase the drilling process called fracking.
“You’re looking at hundreds or thousands of new wells depending on how much gas you’re exporting. And you’re looking at a big spike in production,” Segall told StateImpact.”If we ultimately do make the choice that we should be gas exporters rather than exporters of finished goods or industrial products we better be pretty sure we can produce that gas safely. And we just aren’t there.”
But as Segall alluded, it’s not just fears of pollution but also of an impact on natural gas prices and what that might mean to the U.S. economy.
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