- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The American Public Gas Association (APGA) could not disagree more with the recent Op-Ed, “Democrats’ dumbest new energy idea” (Commentary, Tuesday). Our organization represents not-for-profit community-owned gas systems, and we offer the other side of the story.

The export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) sets a dangerous precedent that will ultimately harm the American economy. Exporting a finite domestic resource is contrary to a prudent national energy security policy.

Today, U.S. consumers enjoy natural gas prices that are the product of both the newly available supplies of natural gas and the fact that our natural gas market is largely limited to North America. While it is true that the export of LNG would have a positive impact on our trade deficit, greater domestic use of our natural gas supply to displace imported oil would make an even greater impact on our balance of trade.

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Because commodities such as natural gas are sold where the price is the highest and since many foreign nations have substantially higher prices, U.S. natural gas would likely flow abroad in times of shortages, further increasing prices for domestic consumers. APGA suggests that promotion of this type of policy is not in the best interest of the United States.

APGA is not anti-free trade. But when important policies collide, nations must make choices. U.S. policymakers must carefully prioritize the use of domestic resources according to the national interest over the short and long term. As gasoline prices rise, the increased deployment of natural gas vehicles can help us take giant steps toward energy independence. To accomplish this goal, America’s natural gas supply must remain plentiful and affordable. Exporting large quantities of LNG threatens both of these fundamental predicates.


President and CEO

American Public Gas Association


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