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Macroeconomic Impacts of LNG Exports from the United States

In contrast to what has been a common belief still ten years ago, the prevailing wisdom now is that U.S. natural gas demand can be met entirely with natural gas produced domestically and at relatively low prices (around $5/MMBtu). Moreover, there might even be the opportunity for the U.S. to become a net exporter of natural gas. In this vein, DOE tasked NERA with a first study in order to help it to determine if natural gas exports are in the public interest, as required by the Natural Gas Act before exports may start. We estimated the economic impacts under a number of LNG export scenarios that incorporated uncertainties about the supply of natural gas in the U.S. and demand for LNG in the rest of the world. In a follow-up study, we used updated AEO assumptions and an enhanced modeling framework. This paper summarizes our findings and potential geopolitical implications of U.S. LNG exports.
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Keywords: Natural gas, Exports, CGE models

DOI: 10.5547/2160-5890.4.1.rbar

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Published in Volume 4, Number 1 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.