LNG Exports: The View of a Major Public Utilities Trade Group

Rather than exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) on a large scale, keeping the natural gas in the United States is a more desirable goal on a number of levels, according to Bert Kalisch.

The president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based American Public Gas Association, Kalisch contends that not exporting LNG on a large scale benefits manufacturers, electricity customers, energy security and the environment. Kalisch's dialogue with Rigzone follows.

Rigzone: What have new domestic natural gas supplies from shale plays meant for U.S. public gas utilities?

Kalisch: The newly accessible shale gas supplies have been a boon for U.S. public gas utilities, their customers and the communities they serve. Natural gas customers are confident in the robust domestic natural gas supply outlook and are using natural gas in place of other more costly fuels. For instance, APGA-member, the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia, has found that poultry farmers are converting their chicken houses from propane to natural gas, cutting their heating bills in half. 

On the national level, these benefits are even more significant. For instance … a 2012 study by Continental Economics showed that Ohio consumers as whole (commercial, residential, and industrial customers) saved $1.5 billion in 2010 thanks to shale gas. However the data is analyzed, shale gas has provided significant economic benefits directly to consumers in Ohio and around the country.

Public gas utilities and local governments around the country are also seeing the benefits of shale gas by converting their fleets to run on compressed natural gas, replacing gasoline and diesel fuel, which not only saves on fuel costs but also improves air quality. 

Finally, public gas utilities are seeing a resurgence in the industrial sector, with new and existing manufacturing and industrial facilities expanding in part due to low and stable natural gas prices resulting from the substantial shale plays


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Matthew V. Veazey has written about the oil and gas industry since 2000. Email Matthew at mveazey@downstreamtoday.com


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Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.
Bill W. | Aug. 2, 2013
It is clear to me that APGA is NOT a Supply and Demand supporter. It is free market principles that have put us in the position of being the most powerful and prosperous nation in world history. If supply dwindles and demand rises, prices rise. If supply increases, prices drop. Restricting anything puts us in the position of being a "Protectionist". Let the markets work and we will continue to grow despite the efforts of this administration and the APGA.

Jim Montgomery | Aug. 1, 2013
We have seen nat gas prices fall dramatically in the last few years and I know my electrictiy rates have not followed. The Utility analysis is disingenuous at best. They have not done what they say. They cannot be believed.

jim montgomery | Aug. 1, 2013
We want our cake and to eat it too! The gas producers will have no reason to explore for more gas if they are held to a minimum price as will occur if they connot export. Duh! The public good is always best served by people doing what is best for themselves. Do Not Ban Exports!

J | Aug. 1, 2013
It turns my stomach to think how these people have the audacity to believe they have some God-given right to cheap natural gas. The work, sweat, capital and risk that went into developing the technology to unlock shale gas is no different than the work, capital and risk that say, Apple, puts into its innovative products. Now, do you think it is ok for us to tell Apple they cannot sell their products to people around the world? Do you think we have a God-given right as Americans to cheap iPhones because Apple is a U.S. company? Natural gas produced from private property in the U.S. is no different. Which leads to my final point...here is a quote from the interview where Mr. Kalisch really shows his cards: "In reality, this debate is about whether it is in the public interest to export OUR natural gas resources to countries which do not open their markets to our goods and services and whether given that exports to FTA countries are automatic, is it wise to export even more gas to non-FTA countries." [emphasis added]. Notice how he refers to natural gas as "our" natural gas. Herein lies the problem. These people have no concept of the basic, fundamental right of private property in the U.S. Most natural gas in the U.S. is produced from private property. The mineral estate belongs to its private owner. It does not belong to the public unless it is produced from public land. So, Mr. Kalisch, it not your natural gas, nor our natural gas. The gas belongs to the private land owners and hard working, risk-taking E&P companies that own the rights to it. They should be able to sell it to whoever, wherever and for however much they damn well please. Unless the gas is produced from public lands or a communist country, then your entire argument falls flat on its face. And for what it is worth, I do not work for an E&P company.


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