Plugged In

Plugged In

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Should the U.S. Export Natural Gas?


The United States has a lot of natural gas (I've already outlined why here). In fact, natural gas will likely overtake petroleum as the leading fuel source in our energy mix in the next decade or two. Given the current situation in Ukraine, many are wondering whether we should export some as a kind of geopolitical move against Russia.

It's possible, but should we?

It wouldn't exactly be easy... Even if permits were issued immediately, it would still take A LOT of money and many years of construction to get going. On top of that European countries would also need to create the infrastructure to receive our exports.

Here's a look at where Americans are on exporting natural gas from the previous two waves of the UT Energy Poll:

[Note: New Spring 2014 data will be available April 30]

More are now in favor of exporting natural gas to other countries compared to last year, while there's far less opposition. Still, it's worth noting that the majority of Americans still don't even know what fracking is and think we get most of our foreign oil from Saudi Arabia.

If we're going consider some significant changes in foreign policy and energy strategy, I hope we get more of the country up to speed on what it would mean.

[Update: A deeper dive of the data].

This post originally appeared at Scientific American’s ‘Plugged In

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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