Louisiana has more to lose than gain from LNG exports, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. The reason is that Louisiana has about 66 percent more manufacturing jobs than oil and gas jobs. If natural gas prices rise, the manufacturing sector will be damaged and threaten good paying middle class jobs and billions in capital assets.
Removing prohibitions to LNG exports would remove consumer protections from excessive LNG exports, which long-term would drive up natural gas, natural gas feedstock, and natural gas-fired electricity prices for Louisiana and the entire country, thereby reducing manufacturing competitiveness and jobs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), a breathtaking volume equal to 71 percent of 2016 U.S. natural gas demand has already been approved for export. This makes clear that removal of prohibitions are not necessary and is risky public policy.
Production of oil and gas, and exporting LNG, are not large job creators when compared to manufacturing, either nationally or in Louisiana. BLS data states that since 2010, U.S. manufacturing has increased by 820 thousand jobs, while the oil and gas industry created only 22 thousand jobs. Even if LNG exports double it would create few jobs.
The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) 2017 forecasts that cumulative demand in 2050, only 33 years away, shows that 56 percent of all U.S. natural gas resources in the lower 48 states will be consumed.