| WASHINGTON, March 7
WASHINGTON, March 7 An update of a pivotal
report on U.S. liquefied natural gas exports released on Friday
found that allowing unlimited shipments of gas abroad would
benefit the U.S. economy, mirroring the findings of the initial
Using fresh data, NERA Economic Consulting concluded again
that gas exports would increase real household income and gross
domestic product in the United States, despite raising natural
The study looked at an increase in wages and returns on
investment in the natural gas industry, as well as other
macroeconomic indicators, and said this would offset higher
domestic energy prices.
The original NERA report, released in late 2012, was
commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy and has been used
by the agency to support the granting of five conditional
licenses for U.S. LNG exports over the past 10 months.
Scrutiny of U.S. gas export policy has intensified in recent
days. Some lawmakers have called on the Obama administration to
speed up its review process for allowing the sale of gas to
non-free trade agreement countries in response to the crisis in
Ukraine, or to just approve pending applications en masse.
But a manufacturers' group, led by Dow Chemical, has
warned that allowing too much U.S. gas to be sent overseas could
harm fuel intensive industries by causing price spikes.
Commissioned by Cheniere Energy Inc, the report from
NERA offered a more detailed analysis of the impact that exports
would have on the chemical sector.
"Our analysis suggests that there is no support for the
concern that LNG exports, even in the unlimited export case,
will obstruct a chemicals or manufacturing renaissance in the
United States," the report said.
In all scenarios considered by NERA, the report found
"slightly slower" but still "robust" growth rates of about 2
percent for chemical companies using natural gas between 2018
After facing criticism that it used outdated data in the
2012 report, NERA based its latest analysis on the Energy
Information Administration's 2013 editions of the Annual Energy
Outlook and the International Energy Outlook.
Cheniere, the NERA report sponsor, was the first company to
receive permission from the Obama administration to export LNG,
in 2011. The company currently has several other projects
seeking export approval.