The Houston Chronicle wants government, not the market, to regulate natural gas exports.
The Houston Chronicle editorializes:
Rewind history back a decade or two and you will find a much different picture for natural gas production in this country than we see today. In those pre-fracking, pre-shale gas days, the future for this strategic energy resource was spelled LNG, for liquefied natural gas. And the expectation was that supplies would be imported.
In anticipation of that development, huge and expensive LNG terminals were proposed for or built at strategic locations offshore of the United States, including the Gulf of Mexico.
With the development of abundant natural gas resources in shale rock deposits from South Texas across Arkansas and Tennessee north to Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York state, the picture has changed dramatically. This country now has economic, accessible reserves estimated to meet our needs for a century or more.
As a result, the need for LNG imports has decreased, leaving unused capacity in the LNG terminal infrastructure.
Meanwhile, however, the abundance of domestic natural gas also has led to a glut in the marketplace and depressed prices that could lead to a drop in domestic production over time. As a way to head this off, some are now proposing using the LNG terminals here to export American-produced gas for use in foreign markets…