The United States is a Net Exporter of Natural Gas for the First Time in 60 Years
The United States is now exporting more natural gas than it is importing. All in all, the nation produces around 7.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas exports per day. About 7 billion cubic feet of natural gas is imported each day. That leaves a net gain of .4 billion cubic feet of natural gas exports per day.
Why Being a net Exporter of Natural Gas Matters
This is the first time in more than half a decade that the United States is exporting more natural gas than it is importing. In fact, you have to go all the way back to 1957 to find a point in the United States' history when it exported more natural gas than it imported. It was not long ago when the thought of the United States being a net exporter of natural gas would have seemed impossible. Government officials have been concerned about a possible shortage of natural gas since the early 2000s. The nation's energy policy talks have focused on how long it would take the government and industry players to construct import terminals for the liquid form of natural gas to be delivered.
The United States' prior concern over a natural gas shortage has dissipated across the past decade. The energy renaissance that began in 2008 thanks to innovations in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling has changed the discussion. The United States now has an abundance of energy. This surplus of natural gas has proven particularly beneficial to the Gulf Coast economy. Expansions along this beautiful portion of the country are creating thousands of permanent and temporary jobs. Furthermore, affordable natural gas has given our country's manufacturers an important competitive advantage over global competitors.
Natural Gas is Comparably Green
The abundance of natural gas is helpful in that it generates less carbon than coal for electricity production. This environmentally-friendly source of energy has decreased United States' greenhouse gas emissions. Plenty of utilities have switched out fuels at power plants, making power production that much greener. The export of U.S. natural gas to other nations will likely provide environmental benefits to other portions of the world. The hope is the surplus of natural gas decreases emissions worldwide and preserves the planet for future generations of humanity.
The Surplus of Natural Gas Ensures the United States Remains Autonomous
Above all, reducing our nations' dependence on the energy of other nations makes the United States that much more economically secure. There is no longer any concern about having to import natural gas from other nations across posterity. Our nation's natural gas really does empower us to enjoy a prolonged trade advantage and remain self-sufficient.
It is also important to point out the United States' economy will continue to benefit as a result of the natural gas surplus. The rise of hydraulic fracking combined with new natural gas extraction techniques really has made the United States' economy that much more robust. Though most people are quick to point out the surplus of natural gas is important as it puts people to work, there are additional economic benefits aside from increased employment.
As noted above, the abundance of natural gas in the United States enhances our country's autonomy. Now that we have more natural gas leaving the country than coming in, other nations cannot overcharge the United States for this important natural resource. This trade advantage is essential as it allows the United States to fend for itself instead of having to rely on potentially malevolent world leaders to export natural gas.