By TENNILLE TRACY
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration has approved a plan
by Lake Charles Exports to export US natural gas from a
terminal in Louisiana, despite concerns that greater amounts of
exports will result in higher natural gas prices at home.
The approval, granted Wednesday by the US Energy Department,
is the third by the Obama administration. The three projects combined are allowed to
ship out 5.6 billion cubic feet/day of gas.
There are more than a dozen export proposals still pending
before the Energy Department. Energy companies are seeking to
take advantage of a swift increase in US natural gas production
and robust demand for natural gas around the world.
The wisdom of allowing natural gas exports is questioned by
some US manufacturers and their allies on Capitol Hill. They
say export approvals could result in higher prices at home and
remove a competitive advantage enjoyed by some US
The Energy Department said it is allowing Lake Charles
Exports to ship up to 2 billion cubic feet/day of natural gas
to countries lacking a free trade agreement with the US. The
approval lasts for 20 years.
Lake Charles Exports still needs to obtain permits from
another federal agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory
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