WASHINGTON (April 6) — The U.S. needs to expand its imports of liquefied natural gas to rebuild its global competitiveness, according to a new study by Donald A. Norman, economist with the Manufacturers Alliance.
Aggregate expenditures by U.S. manufacturers for natural gas increased 59 percent between 2002 and 2004, Norman said, and the high price of natural gas compared with other countries has become a significant competitive disadvantage to U.S. manufacturers.
Liquefied natural gas, he said, holds the best hope of creating for the first time an international market in natural gas, and with that an international price.
The U.S. imported 631 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas in 2005, with four LNG terminals currently operating in this country, according to Norman. If the three terminals currently under construction and the nine more approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are on line by 2010, the U.S. could increase its LNG imports to 4.9 trillion cubic feet annually, with estimated cost reductions of 21 percent, he said.
Founded in 1933, the Manufacturers Alliance is a non-profit organization funded by its manufacturer members to conduct economic and policy research, continuing professional education and allied activities. Thomas A. Dattilo, chairman, president and CEO of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., is the current chairman of the group´s Executive Committee.