Natural gas exports: Slow-walk or 'danger zone'?

MATTHEW DALY Associated Press Published:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A debate over exporting U.S. liquefied natural gas is intensifying as the Obama administration considers an array of applications to ship the fuel to Japan, India and other countries where prices are far higher than here.

Some large manufacturers that use natural gas say the Energy Department is moving too quickly to approve gas exports, pushing the United States into a "danger zone" that could raise prices and harm the economy.

Industry groups, meanwhile, say the Obama administration is moving too slowly, with just one of nearly two dozen proposed projects given final approval in the past two years. Four other projects have received conditional backing.

Projects given tentative or final approval so far would export enough natural gas to provide electricity to about 70,000 homes for a year.