What they did not take into account was the reality that the nations of Europe and the western Pacific (China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan) had been and are continuing to pay 4 to 5 times as much for their natural gas imports than the price they could get from the U.S.’s newly found shale sources.
So what happened? As of May 17 of this year, 26 applications were filed with the U.S. Department of Energy to convert Liquefied Natural Gas Import facilities, at the major coastal ports of our country, to export capacity. Three of these 26 conversion applications have already been approved and the other 23 are reportedly being “fast tracked.” On aggregate, they would be capable of exporting 57.34 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day and that would be over 20 trillion cubic feet per year.
After all, what oil and gas company wouldn’t want to get the highest price for what they were selling? When the dust settles on all of this, the European markets will no longer be held hostage to Russia for their NG fuels. As the Asian manufacturing sectors continue to grow, they can and will do so less expensively and thus more rapidly.
What does that do for our domestic manufacturers, our energy independence, and our energy security? Not much by my calculations. The world market dynamics will make U.S. supplied natural gas less expensive for the countries paying multiples of our current market price but as our world becomes hotter, flatter, and more crowded, the price in the U.S. market will rise and provide scant economic relief to our domestic market.
If we can’t learn from the tragic consequences of hydraulic fracturing in other states, our plentiful supplies of clean water in New York State, for us and for future generations, will be jeopardized. Our agriculture, beverage, and tourist sectors will all be negatively impacted.