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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