American companies have been drilling for NG for a long time now, and during all of those years the thought of exporting it never really was part of the conversation. Now, with what seems to be an abundance of resources, the drum beat has been toward being the world's foremost source of an incredibly valuable asset. But cui bono? The American people? No, not really. We'd suffer higher prices due to a continually increasing demand and a shrinking supply. The US economy? Maybe temporarily, but those higher prices will undoubtably cut into the discretionary income of pur consumer-based economy, so in the long run that's no good. E&P companies? Yep! There's the winner in all of this. So for the benefit of massive corporations we're willing to entertain the thought of flooding the world market with the energy it needs, thus relieving our global competitors (read: China) of the burden of building out their own infrastructure and making their own investments. We do all the work, they pay a reasonable fee, our companies get rich, we lose the main competitive advantage that we have right now, namely cheap NG. How is this even a discussion? The Chinese are maybe a decade away from truly tapping their potential shale gas fields. Why on earth would we give them a free pass and allow them to buy from us at a much cheaper rate? Their bubble economy is already showing signs of weakness and it's only a matter of time before they have a downturn. And when they do it'll make our recession look like an East Hampton clam bake. US manufacturing, already stirring with some new life due to cheaper NG prices, can either explode upward with the looming Chinese recession or it can sputter and die with the export--and price consequences--of one of our most valuable resources. The notion that you and I will somehow become rich because prices go up is myopic at best. Some Americans will get richer--investors, landowners with NG wells on their land--but the rest of the country will suffer. We have a tremendous asset, let's not race to use it all up at once.
I'm on your bus.
I've always been on that bus.