The United States has more than enough natural gas to meet the needs of domestic customers and simultaneously sell the fossil fuel overseas without causing big price increases, according to a report issued Monday.
The study by the non-profit, non-partisan Bipartisan Policy Center, concludes that even in a worst-case scenario — where domestic supplies are constrained even as demand spikes — U.S. natural gas prices are unlikely to come near previous peaks.
And according to the analysis, exports of the fossil fuel are far less likely to set domestic natural gas prices than to be driven by them. “The price of U.S. natural gas will influence LNG export levels far more than LNG exports will influence domestic prices,” the report concluded.
The finding comes as the Obama administration weighs whether to allow more foreign sales of liquefied natural gas amid a domestic drilling boom that has kept prices relatively low. On Friday, the Energy Department gave Texas-based Freeport LNG conditional approval to broadly export domestically harvested natural gas, marking only the second time a company has won a license to sell the fossil fuel to Japan and other countries that don’t have free trade agreements with the United States.