WAPO reports that America surpasses Russia as world's biggest natural gas producer, but the WSJ notes that domestic prices have gotten so low with the NG glut that drillers are cutting back and local govs are seeing tax revenue shrink.
All that would change, of course, the minute we start exporting gas out of Louisiana and that new LNG export terminal there, but some in Congress, backed by certain industries and enviros, seek to block that. There is actually a proposed bill to block LNG exports until 2025.
This is why gas in the US is oftentimes 1/4 the price of LNG in Asia, and buyers there are crying out for gas.
So WAPO's editorial makes the case for exporting, attacking the notion that slighly higher electricity prices are worth all the benefits that can accrue:
But the benefits of expanded exports must be weighed against these predicted costs — which are neither inevitable nor dramatic. Among them would be a potentially significant reduction in the U.S. trade deficit, which would mean less need for the United States to borrow from its Asian trading partners. Foreign demand gives U.S. companies an incentive to produce more, which creates jobs; if they don’t expand production, then, over time, supply will dwindle, and domestic prices will creep up anyway. Don’t forget that taxes and other fees on gas production help state and local governments balance their books. Already, low prices, and the resulting reduction in drilling, have cost many communities revenue.
The silly chimera of "energy independence" looms in some of this anti-export thinking, but the real push is to keep gas incredibly cheap here relative to industrial and manufacturing competitors. Problem is, the Nat Gas industry will not go along with being beggared, thus drilling slows down and the price will inevitably rise.
That's what happens when you go for win-lose instead of a win-win.