Posted March 26, 2015
A welcome development in the larger effort to see the U.S. become a major player in the global energy marketplace: groundbreaking ceremonies this week at Maryland’s Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility.
Gov. Larry Hogan joined other golden shovel-wielding dignitaries at Cove Point, built as an LNG import terminal but which is undergoing a $3.8 billion expansion to allow LNG export capability.
Photo courtesy Maryland.gov
“The Cove Point expansion is one of largest private investments ever in Maryland and designed to bring both economic and environmental benefits to Maryland. Through this project, Maryland will have the ability to share some of America’s new found energy production capabilities with overseas markets – in places like Japan and India.”
The Cove Point facility represents the win-win of energy infrastructure investment. According to owner Dominion, the LNG export terminal’s three-year construction period will generate 3,000 jobs and $125 million per year in value added. The facility will bring an additional $45 million a year on average to host Calvert County in the first five years after the export terminal is up and running, which Dominion hopes will come in 2017. Local jobs, local and state benefits.
On a national scale, LNG exports also could mean considerable economic benefits, according to a number of studies (see here and here). An ICF International study estimates LNG exports would generate net job growth of 73,100 to 452,000 between 2016 and 2035, including all economic multiplier effects. Manufacturing job gains would average between 7,800 and 76,800 net jobs over the same period, ICF says. The net effect on annual U.S. GDP would range between $15.6 billion and $73.6 billion annually between 2016 and 2035, depending on how much LNG is exported.
Beyond the economic impacts of LNG exports is the impact of adding U.S. natural gas to global supplies, in terms of making energy available to allies overseas. Key officials have talked about the boost to American foreign policy that could come from domestic energy exports, including LNG.
So, congratulations to Cove Point, Dominion and the state of Maryland – for the role this piece of infrastructure will play in increasing prosperity here at home and energy security around the world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.