U.S. Energy Exports to India: A Game Changer

U.S. - India Insight: May 2013

Recently, there has been much discussion about possible American gas exports overseas.  Will the U.S. export LNG? Will it go to India? Should it go only to American free-trade and security partners, or should it be market-driven?  This month, our U.S.-India Insight explores some of the background behind the discussions and the reasons why it makes good economic, environmental and strategic sense to expand exports of LNG to India.

Indeed, high-ranking Indian and U.S. officials already think it makes good sense. India’s Ambassador to the U.S., Nirupama Rao, recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal that, “A boost in LNG exports would have many positive effects on both the U.S. and Indian economies. For the U.S. it would help create thousands of jobs and an expanded revenue stream for the federal government. For India, it would provide a steady, reliable supply of clean energy that will help reduce our crude oil imports from the Middle East and provide reliable energy to a greater share of our population.”  Wendy Sherman, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, during her trip to India last week noted that the Department of Energy has announced that there will be sales of LNG to non-FTA countries. "This will take some time," she said, "but I think it speaks very well to what the future might look like in the U.S.-India LNG relationship.” This will also be a big step forward in overall U.S.-India energy cooperation.

Karl F. Inderfurth

Persis Khambatta