Despite a recent DOE-commissioned report confirming that allowing for more exports of liquified natural gas would indeed be a boon for the economy, certain lawmakers and naysayers are still making hay over the ostensible possibilities for negative economic impact. Given the many solid reasons for allowing the natural-gas industry greater freedom and the few trivial non-impediments, the fact that this debate can still be categorized as “ongoing” is getting pretty ridiculous:
The net effect is a reshaping of the U.S. energy industry and our economy. Additionally, the country’s increased reliance on natural gas (displacing coal) has already benefited the environment, and will continue to do so in the future. Carbon emissions hit a 20-year low (in the first quarter 2012 according to EIA) and some industry observers believe that the U.S. could meet the Kyoto agreement standards by 2020 (even though the U.S. did not sign it). …
Some studies indicate that the U.S. has avoided retreating into an economic recession as a result of activity in the unconventional oil and gas sector. Production areas for unconventional oil and gas have observed very low unemployment and stronger GDP and tax revenues as compared to the rest of the U.S. As a result of the significant near term investments associated with unconventional oil and gas, it’s possible that up to 3.5 million jobs will be created from the infrastructure build out and related opportunities (including both direct and indirect jobs).
What could impede U.S. progress? Political gridlock.