LNG export critics say government should reassess economic risks

|By:, SA News Editor

With the Obama administration approving a fourth company’s plans to export natural gas, some lawmakers and manufacturers say it’s time for the government to reassess the economic risks of the approvals.

The export authorization for 6.37B cf/day of liquefied natural gas, including foreign sales from Dominion’s (D) Cove Point facility in Maryland, passes a 5B cf/day threshold at which some manufacturers say LNG domestic prices could be pushed upward.

A coalition of large industrial users of natural gas, including Dow Chemical (DOW), Celanese (CE) and Nucor (NUE), say the Energy Department should tread more carefully, given the cumulative exports it has already authorized.

The National Association of Manufacturers applauds the Cove Point decision, saying swift export approvals put the market and not the government in charge of deciding which projects survive or fail.