The export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States would appear to have significant backing from American voters, according to the results of a new American Petroleum Institute (API) poll conducted by Harris Interactive.

The poll, part of API’s series “What America is Thinking on Energy Issues,” found that 71% agree that exporting domestic natural gas will help create U.S. jobs, while 66% believe that exporting gas will be good for the U.S. economy and 64% believe exporting gas will strengthen domestic energy security.

“American voters know that exporting more of America’s domestic energy would lead to more jobs, help the economy, and reduce the nation’s trade deficit,” said API Chief Economist John Felmy. “The United States has the opportunity to get it right and use its abundant supplies of clean-burning natural gas resources to meet the president’s goal for doubling U.S. exports by 2015.”

Conducted by telephone with 1,006 registered U.S. voters, the poll also found that most believe that domestic gas exports would help reduce the U.S. trade deficit (63%) and would help keep energy dollars at home rather than being sent to other regions of the world (66%).

Positive support for exporting U.S. natural gas by a majority of American voters is reinforced by facts reported in a recent study produced by ICF International (see Daily GPI, May 16). The study found that U.S. gas exports could spur strong domestic economic and job growth.

“Industry advancements in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have led to a dramatic increase in the estimated recoverable shale gas resources here in the U.S.,” said Felmy. “The American people get it. The U.S. can be a global energy superpower as long as our leaders pursue smart energy policy. We are also the global leaders on clean air. Technological advances that have enabled us to reach natural gas from shale have also helped the U.S. lower its carbon dioxide to 1994 levels.”

Momentum appears to be swinging in favor of exports (see related story). Last Friday, the Department of Energy (DOE) conditionally approved an application for the Freeport LNG Terminal on Quintana Island, TX to export up to 1.4 Bcf/d of LNG to countries without free-trade agreements with the United States (see Daily GPI, May 20). The department took the action within 24 hours of Ernest Moniz being confirmed as the new DOE secretary.

And on Tuesday Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), chairman of the Senate Energy and Resources Committee, called on DOE to update its application process for LNG exports to reflect the country’s shale revolution (see Daily GPI, May 22). The current policy is based on the 1938 Natural Gas Act.

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