A study commissioned by the U.S. Energy Department has found that exporting natural gas would benefit the economy even if it led to higher domestic prices for the fuel.
The study was commissioned to help guide officials as they decide whether to approve 15 liquefied natural gas export applications now under review by the department. The report's findings could push the department to approve some or all of the applications.
Companies are hoping to export U.S. natural gas because it is cheaper by at least half than natural gas in Europe and Asia.
Consumer advocates and manufacturers that use natural gas as a raw material or fuel source have opposed exports. They fear exports will drive up prices for residents and increase manufacturing costs.