Report: Dow Chemical leaves major trade group over LNG export policy

Dow, along with a handful of other manufacturers, launched a coalition last week that urged the White House to limit LNG exports.

The coalition warned that LNG exports would erase a newfound competitive advantage from cheap natural gas by raising domestic prices. A pair of senior Democrats — Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) — echoed those concerns.

That initiative cleaved an alliance of groups pushing for an expansion of LNG exports.

Those groups, which include NAM, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute, say the net economic benefits of exporting LNG would outweigh any price jumps.

Export supporters say price increases would be modest. They also contend exports would encourage additional production specifically for international markets and would not lessen domestic supplies.

Both sides of the export debate are jostling over an Energy Department (DOE)-commissioned report that said LNG exports would be a net economic win for the United States.

DOE has said it would use the much-discussed report in assessments of pending LNG export applications.

DOE is currently considering more than a dozen export applications to nations that lack a free-trade agreement with the U.S. Such permits face more scrutiny than those with countries that have such a pact with the U.S.

Dow Chemical released a statement:

"Dow supports a balanced export policy; one that incentivizes sustainable natural gas production, maintains a competitive advantage for U.S. manufacturers and allows oil and gas producers to enter foreign natural gas markets.  The unfettered export of natural gas is widely understood to have serious implications for the cost and volatility of manufacturing feedstock prices.  At Dow we strongly support manufacturers and will continue to pursue common-sense policies that promote our sector and job creation.

"Earlier this week, with no discussion or notification, NAM adopted a new position on this issue which places the interest of oil and gas producers above the interests of its manufacturer members.  For these reasons, Dow has chosen to withdraw from membership," the company said..

NAM declined to comment to The Hill on Dow’s membership status.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. on Jan. 19.