As the public dialogue progresses on whether the federal government should restrict exports of natural gas, it’s important to note that our nation’s discussion of free trade goes back to its earliest days. The compromise on exports that emerged from the Constitutional Convention in 1787 has played a positive role in shaping America’s economic history – helping transform a loose affiliation of disparate colonies into a dynamic and innovative economic powerhouse.
Most reports about the British government’s decision to rescind its moratorium on exploratory hydraulic fracturing have focused on the economic and environmental advantages of going forward with energy production from shale. But it’s important to note an equally important factor that weighed in the government’s decision: the science that convinced authorities that hydraulic fracturing could be done safely and responsibly in the United Kingdom – just like it is in the United States.
ExxonMobil’s Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040 is our annual report on global energy trends to guide our business strategies and investments for meeting future demand. We also make our projections public because we recognize the value they offer to those with an interest in energy issues. As CEO Rex Tillerson has noted, “Understanding future energy trends is critical for effective policy decisions that can help ensure safe, reliable and affordable energy development and economic growth, job creation and expanded global trade.”
The government has released a long-awaited study concluding the U.S. economy as a whole would benefit from exports of some of the abundant natural gas supplies that have been unlocked by the industry’s new technologies. The study looked at all sectors of the economy and in every scenario concluded the net gains from exporting natural gas were greater than any localized loss. This is how free trade works — whether you’re talking about U.S. exports of wheat, computers, or automobiles.