Energy

The Swamp Fights Against Free Trade

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter
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A cross-industry trade group is pushing President Donald Trump’s administration to stop domestic natural gas exports and adhere to an “Energy Dominance” agenda.

Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA) sent a letter Thursday to three top administration officials: Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

“Excessive [liquefied natural gas] exports pose a real threat to domestic manufacturing, manufacturing jobs, and the economy long-term,” the letter states.

Pruitt recently praised expanding U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), claiming the administration’s approach of cutting regulation and increasing energy production has been “nothing less than world-changing.”

“We don’t just export American LNG around the world, we export freedom,” Perry told an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February. Providing vulnerable countries with a dependable source of energy protects those countries from relying countries such as Russia and Saudi Arabia.

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The IECA is concerned the U.S. is overextending its energy supplies and will use up nearly 70 percent of natural gas resources in the contiguous U.S. by 2050.

The IECA’s analysis leaves out natural gas in the state of Alaska, which is estimated to have more than all the mainland 48 states combined, according to the Energy Information Administration.

LNG exports also undercut the ability of the U.S. to negotiate “fair trade agreements,” according to the IECA.

“Shipping LNG to NFTA countries like China undermines our ability to secure fair trade agreements that provide a level playing field for manufacturing products, and instead reduces their costs, thereby improving their ability to compete with U.S. manufacturing,” the letter states.

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