The pro-export argument also holds that exporting natural gas could help the economy and boost jobs. Dominion's project, for example, will create thousands of construction jobs. An export terminal at Cove Point would also boost the company's overall head count when its export terminal is operational. The company will pay an additional $40 million in state taxes, generate over $20 million more in income taxes, and increase it's sales by $2 billion over the project's lifetime.
"I think that we have seen real hard evidence that the shale gas boom, even when limited to domestic consumption, has had a tremendous buoying effect on the economy both directly with the jobs for drilling, production and distribution, but also for all the jobs associated with it and we can only expect further benefits if the demand side was increased through the use of LNG export facilities," said Hutt.
However, Mike Tidwell, executive director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, makes the point that exports could actually hurt domestic manufacturers.
"Manufacturers are concerned," he said. "They've been organizing an opposition to gas exports because higher gas prices hurt their business."