By Zack Colman and Ben Geman - 12/06/12 05:40 PM ET
STATE OF PLAY: Don’t expect a long-awaited report issued Wednesday that blesses expanded natural-gas exports to end the battle over the topic.
The report, commissioned by the Energy Department (DOE), was a win for export advocates who are urging DOE to approve a slew of application to send liquefied natural-gas abroad.
Not so fast, says Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who is the incoming chairman of the Senate’s energy committee and a critic of export proposals.
“My staff has already spotted some concerns [with the report],” Wyden told reporters in the Capitol on Thursday. “Particularly they are concerned that the projection that they used for purposes of saying ‘this would be the amount exported’ is significantly under what is now already evident.”
The report called exports a net economic benefit for the U.S., but it would also raise prices to some extent. Export critics fear that sending lots of gas overseas could raise costs for domestic manufacturers that rely on the fuel.
The Houston Chronicle, in a story Thursday, reports that manufacturing and chemical companies are “stepping up pressure on the Obama administration to limit exports” of natural gas.