Washington, D.C. —(ENEWSPF)–January 27, 2015. With Congress poised to consider legislation to expedite exports of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, the Center for American Progress released a new analysis of the potential impact of high levels of LNG exports on consumers’ natural gas bills in regions across the country.
In 2014, the Energy Information Administration, or EIA, examined the energy market impacts of exporting up to 20 billion cubic feet per day, or Bcf/d, of LNG on an aggressive timeline. The EIA concluded that a surge in LNG exports would cause U.S. natural gas supply prices to rise between 4 percent and 11 percent, on average, over current projections for the 2015 to 2040 period, depending on how much LNG is exported.
“Renewable energy and energy efficiency are consumers’ best defense against fluctuating natural gas prices,” said Alison Cassady, Director of Domestic Energy Policy at CAP and the author of the issue brief. “By deploying more renewable energy and making their economies use less energy, states can insulate residential, commercial, and industrial gas consumers from unwelcome price increases.”
CAP analyzed the EIA data to better understand the potential cost impacts for residential, commercial, and industrial natural gas consumers in different parts of the country. CAP looked at the EIA scenarios in which the U.S. Department of Energy approves export levels of 16 Bcf/d or 20 Bcf/d of LNG and found:
Residential, commercial, and industrial consumers could spend at least $7 billion more on their natural gas bills per year by 2020 and up to $14 billion more per year by 2040 under high levels of LNG exports.
By 2020, natural gas consumers in the West South Central states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas could see the largest percentage increase in their natural gas bills.
By 2040, natural gas consumers in the Middle Atlantic and New England states could face the largest percentage increase in the their natural gas bills.
CAP recommends that the Obama administration carefully weigh any decision to approve high levels of LNG exports and urges Congress to ensure the Department of Energy has the best and most current energy market information as it reviews pending export applications. CAP also recommends that states implement ambitious renewable energy and energy-efficiency policies.