Energy Blog

Energy Blog

US Chamber of Commerce Blog

Sean Hackbarth The Asia Vision LNG sits docked at Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass LNG terminal.The Asia Vision LNG sits docked at Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass LNG terminal. Photo credit: Lindsey Janies/Bloomberg.

Just like a ship filled with U.S. crude oil left Corpus Christi, Texas in December, ending the 40-year-old export ban, a tanker that just left a Louisiana port on its way to Brazil made history by becoming the first LNG shipment from the continental United States, Reuters reports:

The United States has exported its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo from the lower 48 states, after a tanker set sail from Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass export terminal in Louisiana.

The Asia Vision LNG tanker left the dock at the Sabine Pass terminal at 0139 GMT (7.39 p.m. on Wednesday local time), shipping data on Reuters showed.

Expected to become an importer of LNG just a decade ago, the shale gas revolution in the United States unlocked cheap, abundant gas supplies, allowing the country to become an exporter instead.

Cheniere Energy expects 8 to 10 more tankers to deliver LNG to global markets in the next two months.

This is just the start.

According to a 2015 Government Accountability Office report, five LNG facilities will be operational by 2018 with the ability to export almost 10 billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas a day. This “constitutes about 12.4 percent of expected U.S. natural gas production26 and approximately 18.1 percent of the world’s expected LNG capacity in 2020.” If operating at full capacity, 100 LNG tankers will be needed.

gao_lng_exports_12_2015.png  Obtaining and Processing Liquefied Natural Gas for Transport.GAO chart: Obtaining and Processing Liquefied Natural Gas for Transport.Source: Government Accountability Office.

In its most-recent projections, the Energy Information Administration sees the United States being a net natural gas exporter by 2017 and remaining that way through 2040. By 2040 anywhere from 0.2 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) to 10.3 Tcf of LNG is projected to be exported on net.

eia_2015_natgas_exports.png  U.S. net natural gas trade, 2005-40.EIA chart: U.S. net natural gas trade, 2005-40.Source: Energy Information Administration.

More markets for U.S. LNG along with customers looking to diversify its energy sources will mean more ships will follow in the Asia Vision LNG’s wake.

Eric Nelson Photo credit: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Happy Super Tuesday. The 2016 election goes national on this day, as voters head to the polls in a dozen states.

To put voters in the right state of mind as they head to the polls, we wanted to share some of our stories about the states participating and highlight issues that are most important to the employers, executives and entrepreneurs that create opportunities across the nation.

And read more at Dear 45. We're telling the 45th president what's important to the business community by reaching out to business owners and corporate executives to contribute their thoughts to the policy debate in this important election year:

Give American Business a Chance to Show the World What We Can Do

"From our perspective, the state of American business in 2016 is filled with uncertainty, risks, and challenges. Yet we are optimistic about the future of our country. We know America has extraordinary capacities, talents, resources, opportunities, and freedoms that are simply unmatched anywhere on earth."

The Place to Start: Be the 'Small Business President'

"There's a constructive role for government to help small firms compete and produce good jobs. And there are strong ideas from both sides of the aisle."

Dear 45: Always Remember Small Businesses – and Their Local Impact

"We think about all the entrepreneurs who dream big, take risks and inspire our country’s next generation of small business owners by reminding us what the American Dream is all about. We hope you think about them, too, because they could sure use a hand from their next president."

Play to America's Strengths with Trade

"In the United States, trade drives our economy, ignites innovation and powers job creation."

Two Rules. Two Brickmakers. Immeasurable Damage.

"'Our regulators are targeting an industry that has been absolutely crippled by the recession,' said [Davis] Henry], noting that his [Selma, Ala.] company has already had to shut down one of its two brick kilns (a reflection of the downward trend across the brick industry, which is currently operating at less than 50 percent capacity)."

Health Care Law is Too Much for Nashville Deli to Stomach

"Vanderbilt University students will have to find another place for matzo ball soup, Reuben sandwiches, and other New York City deli staples. After 19 years, Noshville is closing its Midtown Nashville location."

Houston, Dallas Meeting EPA’s Ozone Standard? Mission ‘Impossible,’ Rice Professor Says

"Reducing ozone is tricky business--so tricky that a Rice University professor concludes, 'The EPA’s new 70 ppb [parts per billion] standard will prove impossible to attain by 2025 in several regions — including Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston.'"

Report: Thanks to EPA, Texas Will Pay More for Less-Reliable Electricity

"Texas will see higher electricity prices and a greater likelihood of power disruptions from EPA’s carbon regulations, the Lone Star State’s power grid reliability monitor warns."

A Small Business, a Symbolic Bridge and a National Transportation Crisis

"The Memorial Bridge — which connects the District of Columbia to Northern Virginia, where Glazier's luxury car service company is based — is failing. ... For the country, a rapidly deteriorating landmark at the gates of the nation’s capital is an embarrassment. For many Washington area commuters, already accustomed to the Beltway’s brand of infamously dense congestion, it’s yet another traffic jam on the way to work. But for local business owners like Glazier, it’s an even more serious problem."

How Clogged Roads are Draining this Small Plumbing Business

"[Alexandria, Virginia-based] Michael and Son, which has been in business for four decades, spends more than a million dollars on vehicle repairs annually, a large share of that directly tied to wear and tear that the firm’s roughly 500 vehicles sustain from outdated and overextended roads."

Thomas J. Donohue

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) so-called Clean Power Plan is the mother of all regulations, aiming to radically transform the electricity sector under the guise of restricting greenhouse gas emissions from domestic power plants. The new standards would drive up energy costs on businesses and consumers, impose tens of billions in annual compliance costs, and reduce our nation’s global competitiveness. Worst of all, the rule is unlikely to reduce global carbon emissions, instead simply shifting them—and U.S. jobs—to other countries that have not implemented similar restrictions.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce works at all levels to fight the worst regulations—in the agencies, before Congress, and, when all other options are exhausted, in the courts. Together with 150 other parties—including associations, organizations, and 27 states—the Chamber filed suit against EPA’s power plant regulations in a federal appeals court, taking on the agency’s breathtaking power grab and wrong-headed decision to ignore and circumvent Congress.

In a major boost to our efforts, the Supreme Court issued a stay in the case, blocking EPA from implementing the rule until legal challenges are resolved. The Court’s decision is an important acknowledgment of the validity of our concerns, but there will be no certainty for states, energy providers, workers, or consumers until a final decision on the legality of the rule is reached.  

In the meantime, opposition to the power plant regulations is gaining steam. Last week, a powerful coalition of 166 state and local chambers of commerce and business organizations representing 40 states signed an amicus brief supporting the Chamber’s lawsuit to overturn the rule.

These state and local partners are natural allies in the fight because the states will be on the hook for these radical, federally mandated reductions. If the rule stands, the states will have to abide by the reduction targets handed down on high from Washington. They will lose their traditional authority over their power grids while watching electricity and compliance costs in their communities climb. Rather than allowing the states to do what they have historically done well—make sustained environmental improvements without harming their economies—the federal government believes it knows best.

But if the government truly knew best, it would seek to preserve the diversity of our country’s energy portfolio. It wouldn’t saddle states, consumers, and businesses with high costs for minimal gain. It wouldn’t pursue a politically driven agenda at the expense of our economy. EPA’s rule proves otherwise—so we must keep up the fight using every tool at our disposal.