Issues regarding the export of natural gas

The fracking boom has led to low prices and high supplies of natural gas in the United States, which makes consumers and manufacturers who use natural gas very happy. But prices overseas are much higher, so there are 19 applications to sell liquefied natural gas overseas, and many are watching to see what the Obama administration will decide.

In Europe and Asia, where natural gas sells for $10 to $16 per million British thermal units—three to four times the U.S. price—demand is high. Imports from the U.S. could also give European countries greater power to bargain on prices with Russia’s Gazprom (OGZD), now a dominant supplier of natural gas. All that’s missing are the U.S. facilities to liquefy gas for export.

There’s a ton of money to be made for gas producers, and the natural gas could replace coal, which is growing as an export to Europe. Since natural gas is cleaner, many argue that allowing exports would be good for the environment.

But there is opposition from domestic manufacturers who don’t want to see natural gas prices go up. The article linked above points out that “Paul Cicio, president of the Washington-based trade group Industrial Energy Consumers of America, has called for delaying approvals for some new export terminals to avoid a domestic price shock.”

Stay tuned . . .

  

Will we see natural gas cars?

With natural gas being so cheap, there’s a push from producers to showcase how compressed natural gas can be used in cars. The issues involve things like trunk space since the fuel requires much more space, and also fueling stations. Trucking companies are setting up fueling stations for well-defined routes, but for someone who wants to buy a car we’re a very long way off.

With all the options surrounding alternative fuel vehicles, it seems like these are a long shot in the short term.

  

Whether to buy an electric car

With tax credits and lower prices from manufacturers, particularly lease deals, we’re starting to see an increase in sales for electric cars. Automakers have a huge incentive to sell these vehicles in order to comply with regulatory mandates.

  

Push for a carbon emissions tax

A carbon emissions tax is a huge long-shot in today’s political climate, but that’s not deterring former congressman Bob Inglis.

  

Debate over Keystone Pipeline

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There are all sorts of opinions on the Keystone Pipeline. Many environmentalists are very much opposed, while many people concerned with weaning ourselves off of Mid East oil are in favor of it, even with all the new oil American is producing through fracking. The Arkansas oil spill complicates the issue of course.

Here’s T. Boone Pickens discussing natural gas, oil and the pipeline.

  

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