The White House last week announced it was clearing out its in-box for liquefied natural gas export licenses by signing off on plans for a terminal in Lake Charles, La. The third such measure could lead to the delivery of as much as 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas to foreign markets for the next 20 years. The Obama administration has made a low-carbon economy a centerpiece of its second-term agenda. Republican critics of the president said his green plans are hurting the economy. This time, it’s the president’s own party expressing concerns about his decisions.
The U.S. Department of Energy announced it authorized the delivery of domestically produced LNG from an export terminal in Louisiana. The permit is for the export of 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day for the next 20 years. The authorization extends to countries that do not have a free trade agreement with the United States.
The International Energy Agency said it expects the global demand for natural gas to increase by 1.5 trillion cubic feet by 2016, which it said represents about 75 percent of what the U.S. market consumed in 2010. Last year, the Energy Department said LNG would lead to economic gain regardless of the market scenario. When British energy company Centrica secured enough LNG from the United States to keep the lights on for the equivalent of Hong Kong’s entire population, British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed gratitude that U.S. gas was helping support energy security across the pond.
At home, the Obama administration told a crowd of supporters in Tennessee wind, solar and natural gas were not only helping reduce U.S. dependence of foreign energy, but reducing carbon pollution as well.