Natural Gas Exports: Seeking Synergy Between Environment, Energy and Trade Policy

A tanker transporting liquefied natural gas
A tanker transporting liquefied natural gas

In the context of current discussions about the export of liquefied natural gas from the United States, we believe that fundamental principles of environmental, energy and trade policy that USCIB has supported over the years remain relevant.

USCIB has long championed expanded trade and investment, and the elimination of barriers to global commerce, including in the energy sector, under a rules-based system, and we support established WTO rules limiting export and import bans. Erecting new barriers to LNG exports would run counter to our past positions and efforts by the American business community to discourage restrictions by other countries.

Throughout our work to promote international cooperation on climate change and energy security, USCIB has advocated keeping all energy options on the table in the transition to a greener economy. In that connection, we have underscored the critical importance of open trade as a means to disseminate cleaner technologies and energy options, and have signaled the adverse environmental impacts of export bans.

Increased domestic supplies of natural gas are already providing a competitive edge for many U.S.-based manufacturers, with positive impacts on jobs both in the energy sector and in the economy as a whole. Many observers, including the International Energy Agency, predict that the United States will become a net energy exporter, which would have major economic and geopolitical ramifications. Additionally, there is potential for natural gas, with its much lower climate footprint, to surpass coal as the world’s number-two energy source.

We appreciate the concerns voiced about LNG exports, including the potential for increased U.S. energy costs, and these concerns should not be taken lightly. As U.S. companies operate in global markets, they need access to affordable and sustainable energy in order to remain competitive. With wise policy choices, the domestic energy revolution has the potential to bring major economic and environmental advantages to the U.S. business community, and to U.S. citizens.

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Staff Contact:   Alice Slayton Clark

Director, Investment, Trade and China
Tel: 202.682.0051

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