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AEA sees critical point in LNG exports

Keywords: Tags  liquefied natural gas, LNG exports, America's Energy Advantage, AEA, Department of Energy, Nucor, Alcoa, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — Exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Dominion Cove Point LNG LP’s planned Cove Point terminal in Calvert County, Md., to countries without a free-trade agreement with the United States could end up impacting America’s private and industrial consumers, America’s Energy Advantage (AEA) has warned.

The Department of Energy approved export licenses for the facility this past week (, Sept. 12).

"We are now approaching a volume of LNG exports that many experts project will impact price and volatility for natural gas," Jennifer Diggins, director of public affairs at Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor Corp. and chair of AEA, said in a statement.

The organizationwhich also includes Pittsburgh-based aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. and Midland, Mich.-based chemical maker Dow Chemical Co.also takes issue with the agency’s approval process.

"We’re increasingly concerned with the process and data (the Energy Department) is using to justify more exports of American natural gas to our global competitors," Diggins said.

The agency is basing its decisions for the export licenses on "30-year-old guidelines for natural gas imports, not exports," she said, adding that the approval process should be as up-to-date as possible as the decisions could have "far-reaching and potentially irreversible impacts on our economy and American manufacturing."

To this end, AEA is calling for a review of the agency’s export decisions and for clarification of its guidelines for approvals, Diggins said.

The agency must approve all LNG exports to non-free-trade agreement countries.

Organizations represented by AEA are concerned that increasing LNG exports will drive natural gas costs up for consumers and industrial users, and in the process stifle a budding American manufacturing renaissance.

The growth in natural gas supply has led to lower electricity costs for domestic producers like Alcoa and increased their negotiating power with electricity providers (, May 6).

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