Before talking about the list of projects, let us first say just a few words about why exporting our shale gas is a good idea. We have way more shale gas than we’ll use here at home. The overabundance is causing prices to stay in the basement. Yes, that’s good for consumers, which we’re all in favor of. The problem, however, is that with prices so low, drillers quit drilling, and the price eventually rises to the point where they are once again willing to drill. There is an equilibrium price at which it’s profitable (profit is not a dirty word) for companies to spend their time and effort and investors’ money. If the price of gas must reach that level anyway, why not sell some of it to our friends around the world–granting them access to a cheaper source of natural gas, boosting profitability here at home, and allowing the drilling industry to expand exponentially right here instead of in a foreign (i.e. hostile to the U.S.) country?
For years our country has imperiled itself by becoming a net importer–of energy and other goods and services. It’s time we once again become a net exporter. It makes us strong. It keeps us independent. It re-balances our way-out-of-balance, balance of trade. Something called the trade deficit.
If we don’t export natural gas, including Marcellus and Utica Shale gas, we hurt no one but ourselves. If we don’t export, the volume of natural gas we produce will be much less, which suits global warming nutters (anti-drillers) just fine. That’s why they oppose exports–because it will create more fossil fuels, which is anathema to them. For them, burning natural gas is the same as burning gasoline, oil, diesel, coal–heck, even the same as burning wood! Not all carbon-based fuel sources are equal, but the intellectually lazy opposition lumps them altogether into a single carbon bucket. Fine, let them. They marginalize themselves with their increasingly shrill demands and arguments.
By not exporting we won’t get cheaper gas here at home because drillers will refuse to drill for it–it’s simple, logical economics. So we ask, why not export? The shoe should be on the other foot. For those who oppose exports, you need to prove why and how it would harm us–not the other way around. The presumption is that we should export, not that we should not. With that in mind…