Don't Send America's Natural Gas to Ukraine

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has given a boost to those calling for the United States to expedite natural gas exports to help allies overseas. In this thinking, American gas exports — in the form of liquefied natural gas, or LNG — are not only a boon to the domestic economy but also a potent geopolitical tool to be wielded against the Kremlin.

Never mind that the United States won’t have its first LNG export terminal in operation until late 2015 at the very earliest; that all of its approved gas exports are already committed to long-term contracts; and that Ukraine does not even have a single terminal for receiving LNG.

Even without the newly concocted geopolitical rationale for exports, though, Washington seems favorably disposed to permitting much of America’s surplus gas to migrate overseas. Since the beginning of the shale gas revolution, which kicked off in 2005, the U.S. Department of Energy has approved six LNG export terminals with a combined export capacity of 8.5 billion cubic feet a day, and more projects are in the works.

But before we put more of our gas in the service of our foreign policy, be it saving Europe from Russia’s claws or Asia from its toxic air, we should ask ourselves one question: Why aren’t we using more gas in our cars and trucks?

Read the rest on Politico by Gal Luft: Don't Send America's Natural Gas to Ukraine.

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