New Poll Shows Americans Deeply Opposed to Unfettered Export of America’s Natural Gas

WASHINGTON (January 10, 2013) – A group of American manufacturers today released a new poll that finds voters are opposed the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by an almost 5 to 1 margin. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who has called for a “time out” on exports of American natural gas while the impacts of such policy can be better known, today said that this poll showed the American people and American industries understand the benefits of low-cost, domestic natural gas.

“We have a critical decision to make about how to use our newly found natural gas bounty,” said Rep. Markey, who is the Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Committee. “Are we going to follow the will of the American people and use our natural gas here at home to lower consumer electricity bills, bolster American manufacturing, reduce global warming pollution, and get off foreign oil? Or are we going to follow the will of the oil and gas industry and export America’s competitive advantage to China and increase energy prices here at home? I stand with the American people and oppose large-scale exports of domestic natural gas.”

Major findings of the poll include:

--Almost 80 percent of voters said “no” when asked whether companies should be allowed to export natural gas without restrictions.

--81 percent said that we should restrict exports of natural gas until there is a better understanding of how it affects prices here.

--On a scale of 1 to 10, when asked about the importance of manufacturing to the U.S. economy, more than half of respondents answered “10”. And 86 percent said that natural gas is essential in the manufacture of thousands of everyday products like cars, appliances, paper, steel, plastic products, and farm fertilizer.

The poll was released by a recently-formed group called America’s Energy Advantage, whose members include the American Public Gas Association, Alcoa Inc., Eastman Chemical, Nucor Corporation, Celanese Corporation and The Dow Chemical Company. The full polling results can be found HERE.

The Department of Energy has already received 20 applications from companies looking to build LNG export terminals capable of exporting more than 40 percent of current U.S. natural gas consumption. Rep. Markey has introduced legislation, H.R 4024, to put the brakes on these applications while a large-scale export policy is analyzed, as well as H.R. 4025 to restrict the export of natural gas produced from America’s public lands. Last month, Markey sent a letter to Energy Secretary Chu calling for additional analysis of the economic consequences of large-scale natural gas exports.

Contact: Eben Burnham-Snyder, Rep. Ed Markey, 202-225-2836