Once gas is piped across our state and loaded onto tankers in Southwest Louisiana, it sells to the highest bidder—whether that’s a friend in Europe, or a foe, like China. The oil and gas industry is interested in profit, not patriotism. They won’t keep the gas here in the U.S. to bring our prices down, and they won’t reroute their exports to Europe to alleviate the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Instead, they’ll continue selling to the highest bidders on the open market—even when that highest bidder is one of America’s global adversaries.
New gas export terminals serve one purpose: to take gas out of Louisiana and export it to other countries. They won’t power homes and businesses here, but they will create electricity and power manufacturing in China, Brazil, and elsewhere. By exporting gas to competing businesses and foreign governments that can be hostile to the United States, the oil and gas industry is profiting by putting the American people at a disadvantage. Meanwhile, exports are fueling our adversaries, costing us tens of thousands of American manufacturing jobs, increasing domestic energy costs, and wreaking coastal devastation that will make SWLA families more vulnerable to floods and hurricanes.
Fossil fuels aren’t renewable, and our country only has 13 years of gas remaining in our proven reserves. “Proven reserves” are the amount of readily available gas that the industry and government regulators know is there. If the U.S. were to keep exporting gas at the rates we are today—or at even faster rates as they propose—we would run out of gas in little more than a decade.
Ever since the Kremlin began threatening Ukraine, the oil and gas industry has been promoting U.S.-produced liquified gas (called “natural gas” by the industry) as the solution to Europe’s dependence on Russian fuel sources. But the United States doesn’t have the capacity to export additional liquified gas. Large oil and gas companies that stand to profit from increased exports say that’s why they need to build more gas export terminals—but each of those can take four years or more to build. Even if they broke ground today, no new terminal would be able to export to Europe in time for next winter.
Meanwhile in Europe, our friends and allies simply don’t have the capacity to accept additional imports from across the Atlantic. Europe’s infrastructure is built to bring in gas from the East by pipeline. They don’t have the terminals to receive additional shipments of liquified gas from the West—and building new terminals and pipelines would take years, if not decades.