Speaker: Exports could add 12K jobs in state

Long-term trends in global markets point toward strong growth in liquid natural gas exports, which will provide enormous benefits to the Colorado economy, an energy expert with the American Petroleum Institute said Friday.

Based on anticipated future exports of 16 billion cubic feet per day, natural gas could add $1.9 billion to Colorado’s gross domestic product and create close to 12,000 jobs by 2035, said Kyle Isakower, the institute’s vice president for regulatory and economic policy.

Isakower told more than 100 people attending the Energy Forum and Expo on Friday that natural gas exports could also positively impact the national economy, adding $73 billion to GDP and up to 450,000 new jobs between 2016 and 2035.

“It’s important to note that here in 2015, we’ve got over 65 billion cubic feet per day of gas production,” Isakower said. “That basically makes the United States self-sufficient for gas. That’s about what our demand for gas is.”

By 2040, that production is expected to increase by another 40 billion cubic feet per day, he said.

“There’s an awful lot of expected increase in demand here in the U.S. for natural gas — for power generation, manufacturing and transportation,” Isakower said. “But there’s still plenty of opportunity to export natural gas as well. There’s plenty of places around the world looking to import.”

The U.S. has an estimated 100-year supply of the resource, he said.

Because of the resource’s abundance, studies show the industry can easily meet any increase in demand with only minimal impacts on consumer prices, Isakower said.

Debate in Washington, D.C. is heated now over whether regulations should be amended to increase or decrease export approvals.

The issue in Colorado is already decided, he said, citing the recent U.S. Senate race between U.S. Sen. Mark Udall and U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, where the candidates from both parties touted bills to increase natural gas exports.


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