Ron Jibson, the incoming chairman of the American Gas Association and top executive of an energy company, said he expects the U.S. Energy Department to approve “closely controlled” exports of natural gas.
“Hopefully we do proceed with some caution,” Jibson, chief executive officer of Questar Corp. (STR), told reporters today at the AGA’s Washington office.
The Energy Department is reviewing as many as 15 applications from companies to build export terminals to ship gas to countries including Japan. The department said it plans to release an analysis of the economic impact of exports before the end of the year.
Jibson said he thought the administration wouldn’t allow unlimited exports because the sales might raise costs for domestic gas users. At the same time, Jibson said exports can “promote development of the product.”
AGA represents more than 200 natural-gas distribution companies. Jibson will be chairman for 2013.
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