The application of advanced drilling techniques such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has boosted U.S. natural gas production to an all-time high. With the nation awash in relatively cheap gas, many commentators are urging federal regulators to approve more projects that would export liquefied natural gas, or LNG, to countries that don’t have a free trade agreement with the United States.
So far, only a handful have received conditional approval from the Department of Energy, while only one project — Cheniere Energy’s (NYSEMKT: LNG ) Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana — has been given the final go-ahead to begin construction. Federal regulators are currently assessing the macroeconomic impacts of LNG exports to determine whether to approve additional projects.
With that said, let’s take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of allowing LNG exports in terms of their potential impact on domestic gas prices, the U.S. consumer, the manufacturing sector, and economic growth.