POLICY BRIEF 13-6

Liquefied Natural Gas Exports: An Opportunity for America

by Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Peterson Institute for International Economics
and Allie E. Bagnall, Peterson Institute for International Economics
and Julia Muir, Peterson Institute for International Economics

February 2013

Prohibitions or restrictions on US exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are a bad idea. LNG exports will deliver economic benefits to the US economy. The US Department of Energy should approve pending LNG export applications for projects at an advanced planning stage, in conjunction with appropriate regulation to limit environmental dangers from wells to ports. Three strong considerations support this recommendation: (1) The United States regularly opposes export restraints on natural resources by other countries; (2) contrary action by the United States would violate World Trade Organization rules and lead foreign nations to ignore the rules as well; and (3) LNG export restrictions would contradict the Obama administration’s stated goal of growing US exports.

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