(Photo from Kinder Morgan website)
Mississippi Oil & Gas Board Member Jimmy Heidelberg says the use of natural gas is even more important to sustain both developed and developing societies.
Last week, the Biden Administration and the United States Energy Department imposed regulations that stopped or at least “paused” any additional liquid natural gas (LNG) export projects. The reasoning behind this action was never fully explained but this faulty and illogical decision will have disastrous consequences on the citizens of the United States as well as our foreign policy partners.
The United States is the “Saudi Arabia of natural gas” and we have an abundant supply of this plentiful and clean fuel. In fact, last year the United States surpassed Australia and Qatar to become the world’s leading exporter of liquified natural gas. This energy product is valued around the world as an abundant and efficient source of energy. When Russia invaded Ukraine there were promises made that the United States would help with Germany’s dependance on Russian natural gas. Because this new policy could curtail exports, an adverse effect will result on the United States and Europe with its goals in the Ukraine conflict.
The United States’ production of natural gas has increased exponentially over the last 25 years due to advances in technology and “fracking” which has made this abundant source of clean fuels available. This is readily apparent in the State of Mississippi, where 76% of Mississippi’s electricity is generated by using natural gas. Restrictions or decreases in the amount of natural gas supply could dramatically damage Mississippi. One of the reasons Amazon has pledged to locate the new, $10,000,000,000 data processing facility to Mississippi is, in part, due to readily available and affordable electricity generated in large part from natural gas.
Since there is an ever-increasing need for reliable energy around the world, the use of natural gas is even more important to sustain both developed and developing societies. Without the energy produced from natural gas, it would be difficult to see how energy generated from this product could be replaced within the foreseeable future.
In my hometown of Pascagoula, Mississippi, an LNG import terminal built several years ago stands idle because of American innovation that created such an abundant supply domestically that imports are no longer profitable but exports to other economies are. While there is periodic discussion of converting this facility to an export facility, under current Federal regulations and the Administration’s new “ban”, Federal approval that is required does not appear to be available.
The United States and the world need more energy. Natural gas for the foreseeable future is the most cost effective and readily available source. The Biden Administration’s “pause” for exploration and exports will not help the economy nor will it help with “green” objectives. If natural gas usage is curtailed, the need for energy still exists and will be replaced by more expensive and less clean and efficient supplies of coal or other similar products.
The Biden Administration should not only reverse this policy but should lead the way in promoting American ingenuity in the production and export of liquified natural gas.
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