US Energy Exports
America’s abundant oil and natural gas resources allow us to support both US and global energy needs, and exports of crude, natural gas, and refined products support domestic energy production, jobs, and lower and more stable energy prices for American families and businesses.
Exports also strengthen the US balance of trade, provide greater energy security, and support geopolitical security by allowing the United States to support our allies around the world, as well as those allies’ climate goals.
A library of studies and analysis on oil exports, LNG exports, and LNG lifecycle emissions of can be found here.
Gasoline costs are tied to a global market, so crude oil exports help increase supplies, put downward pressure on prices at the pump, increase our country’s GDP, and create more jobs in America. And, access to customers in the global marketplace can drive investments in US production, helping to further strengthen our energy security.
The lifting of the crude export ban—done on a bipartisan basis and signed into law by President Obama—was one of the most significant energy policies of the last decade. A recent analysis, conducted by ICF International, found that enabling open markets increased oil and natural gas development in America, which reduced global oil prices by $1.93 per barrel over a six year period; added $161 billion to US GDP; and increased jobs in the US by nearly 50,000. The study also found that higher US oil production expanded global oil supply, reducing global crude oil and refined product prices and saved Americans $92 billion on refined products and natural gas.
Inversely, a study by the American Council for Capital Formation, found that banning refined petroleum product exports would force refinery closures, result in higher prices and losses to both US employment and GDP.
Prior to the Shale Revolution, the US was in the process of building LNG import terminals in anticipation of needing more domestic supply of natural gas. The Shale Revolution changed that, as it became clear that the US was producing more natural gas than it could consume domestically. The US first started exporting LNG in February 2016, and exports have continued to increase every year since—while prices in the US have stayed low and stable. And, as of 2021, the US became the largest LNG exporter.
Nearly 90 percent of the natural gas produced in the US stays here in the US, which is why prices here are so much lower and more stable than the rest of the world who must compete for LNG cargoes.
Notably, our production continues to exceed our consumption – meaning that we have more than enough natural gas to meet domestic needs and support our allies. Even with the huge growth in exports over the past five years, the US natural gas prices have stayed relatively stable – and significantly more affordable than global prices. This is due to our significant supply.
When it comes to addressing global climate change, US LNG is the single most powerful tool we have to reduce global emissions by displacing coal use around the globe. Not only is natural gas a cleaner fuel, natural gas produced in the US also carries a lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions profile than the gas produced in most other regions of the world.
AXPC’s LNG Export Policy Agenda to Unleash US LNG can be found here.