Trump and top Cabinet officials made increasing LNG exports a central theme of the administration's America First energy agenda during "Energy Week" ahead of the July 4 holiday. Trump said he wants the nation to enter into an era of energy dominance where it is self-sustaining and able to export.
But big energy users are warning the administration that shipping more natural gas abroad is problematic for growing businesses and jobs domestically and ultimately could hurt the president's economic agenda.
"Excessive LNG export approvals by the U.S. Department of Energy to countries with which the U.S. does not have a free-trade agreement is inconsistent with President Trump's 'America First' and 'fair-trade' policies, and poses a significant long-term threat to energy-intensive trade-exposed industries' competitiveness and jobs," said Paul Cicio, president of the Industrial Energy Consumers of America, in a Wednesday letter to the secretaries of energy and commerce, Rick Perry and Wilbur Ross, respectively.
Cicio's group represents large industrial users of energy such as the chemical and steel industries, in which natural gas is a key commodity. His members want to ensure natural gas supplies remain stable and the price low.
The letter was sent ahead of Trump's energy address on Thursday to cap Energy Week, where he emphasized that the U.S. has become self-sufficient in natural gas production. The shale natural gas boom has made the U.S. a top producer of the gaseous fossil fuel, and the federal government projects the U.S. becoming a net exporter before the end of the decade.