CHICAGO A nonprofit group
of businesses and organizations that includes steelmaker Nucor
Corp. and aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. is concerned that
exports of natural gas could hurt the competitiveness of U.S.
Advantagewhose founding members include Charlotte,
N.C.-based Nucor and Pittsburgh-based Alcoacontends that
affordable natural gas has fueled a rebirth of manufacturing in
the United States, but that renaissance could be jeopardized by
natural gas exports and a subsequent increase in natural gas
"As our country continues to
face sustained economic and employment challenges,
manufacturing has been one of the few sectors to actually add
jobs," Nucor public affairs director Jennifer Diggins said in a
statement. "There is no doubt this is in large part due to the
affordability of natural gas."
Cheap natural gas gives
energy-intensive industries, such as steel, a competitive edge
against countries "that unfairly subsidize their exports,"
The group said that a boost in
exports would raise prices for U.S. natural gas consumers.
A host of energy firms are
exploring natural gas export projects as they look to take
advantage of the spread between low-priced natural gas in North
America and higher prices in markets in Europe and Asia
Oct. 5 and