Today, the group Texans for Natural Gas (TNG) released a new report on the massive economic impact liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports could have on Texas and the United States. With seven LNG export facilities proposed or already under construction in Texas, the report found these benefits “will be significant and far reaching,” creating 136,000 jobs nationwide – 70,000 in Texas alone – and a total economic impact of over $145 billion across the country. As the group’s spokesperson, Steve Everley, explained in the press release,
“Texas energy production has helped make the United States the world’s largest natural gas producer, providing affordable energy here at home and creating opportunities to supply energy to our allies. From job creation and increased tax revenue to strengthened national security, the benefits of these LNG facilities will be significant and far reaching – once again proving the profound impact Texas natural gas has in our local communities and around the world.”
LNG is natural gas that is super cooled to -260 degrees Fahrenheit, turning it to a liquid that is 1/600th of its normal volume. In its liquefied form, natural gas can be transported more easily across oceans or distances where pipelines may not be an option.
Currently, there are 24 LNG export facilities planned or under construction across the country, with seven located on the Texas Gulf Coast. Thanks to the nearby surplus of natural gas and a prime location for global shipping, Texas’ Gulf Coast has become a hotbed for LNG export projects. The Texas-based facilities are: the Texas LNG project, Golden Pass LNG, Rio Grande LNG, Freeport LNG, Port Arthur LNG, Annova LNG, and Cheniere’s Corpus Christi LNG project.
The economic impacts not only nationally, but locally and statewide from each of these projects are tremendous. Here are some additional key findings of the report:
- “LNG exports from the Gulf Coast of Texas will generate more than $20 billion in state tax revenue.
- Golden Pass LNG, which the U.S. Department of Energy approved for export to non-free trade agreement countries in April 2017, is projected to generate about $175.7 million in annual tax revenue for Texas.
- Rio Grande LNG – slated to be the nation’s largest LNG export facility – anticipates hiring 80 percent of its permanent workforce locally.
- Port Arthur LNG is expected to contribute over $31.81 billion in economic benefits to the Texas economy from 2018 to 2040.
- Average salaries for permanent jobs at Annova LNG are expected to be $70,000 per year, with total compensation of about $110,000 – well above Cameron County’s per capita income of $25,200.
- Cheniere’s Corpus Christi Liquefaction project could generate as much as $1.17 billion in state tax revenue.”
But while these facilities provide massive benefits, they, like other US infrastructure projects, have faced protests from out-of-state activists. These groups actively spread misinformation in an attempt to stop all fossil fuel development. As Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil and Gas Association told Texas Monthly,
“What we are seeing is the anti-oil-and-gas forces going state to state and local governments to thwart oil and gas activities.” (emphasis added)
Fortunately, LNG export terminals are extensively reviewed for potential environmental and economic impacts. Often taking several years, applications to site and construct these facilities are reviewed and permitted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), following additional review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In Texas, LNG export facilities are also reviewed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which requires rigorous environmental impact studies for each project. On top of that, these facilities need to be approved by the Department of Energy in order to export LNG in order to ensure economic benefits will be met.
In other words, despite activist claims, the economic benefits of LNG export can be realized while still protecting the environment. Moreover, these benefits could be a game changer for Texas (and the United States), providing tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in state revenue to help keep our local communities thriving.
For more information on those economic benefits, be sure to read the TNG report here.