The CEO of EQT Corp., the largest natural gas producer in the United States, on Wednesday said leveraging the nation’s natural gas exports could aid foreign allies and reduce global emissions.

On the third day of CERAWeek by S&P Global as natural gas took center stage, CEO Toby Z. Rice made the case to use domestic liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply to cut coal use and address global climate change.

“Unleashing U.S. LNG to target international coal consumption is not only proven, the opportunity represents the largest green initiative on the planet,” Rice said in unveiling the plan. “By providing a solution to the principal driver of international emissions – emissions that must be addressed if we are to succeed in our climate efforts – we have the ability to extend our influence in addressing climate change beyond our borders.”

Rice in February – and also late last year – cautioned against limiting U.S. LNG exports. He said limiting exports would raise prices in the Northeast and harm the environment. 

EQT produced 527 Bcfe in the fourth quarter across its Marcellus and Utica shale assets in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. That’s up from 401 Bcfe in 4Q2020. Full year production was 1.9 Tcfe, up from 1.5 Tcfe in 2020. 

The United States has the “largest economically developable resource in the world,” the EQT chief said Wednesday. He noted that Iran, Qatar, the United States and Russia “collectively have approximately two-thirds of the world’s natural gas resources. And the substantial majority of the world is reliant on coal. 

“We need to provide solutions, and to do that, we need to prioritize LNG and pipeline infrastructure to allow us to connect our resources to end-users.”

Domestic LNG supply could be one of the “world’s largest weapons to combat climate change,” Rice said. “Unleashing it would enable the United States to replace up to one-third of international coal in the next 20 years.

“But equally important, as the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia highlights, it would allow us to provide energy security to our allies while weakening the energy dominance of our adversaries.”