Turn Off Natural Gas Exports: Congressman

The U.S. should stop exports of natural gas in order to foster domestic job creation, Congressman Ed Markey told CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”

The bonanza in U.S. production means that natural gas is six times cheaper in the U.S. than in Asia four times cheaper than in Europe.

“If you’re thinking about manufacturing a product, after the workforce, energy is the second most important component part,” he said. “We have a huge advantage over Europe and Asia because of our low-priced natural gas.”

Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, also said the U.S. can move natural gas into the automotive industry to reduce its reliance on foreign oil. Gas-fired power generators can bring down electricity costs too. “That helps every single industry within the United States,” he said.

Markey worries that allowing exports would squander this advantage. He noted that the Department of Energy estimates granting approval for the 15 export licenses now pending could raise U.S. prices — which are extremely low— by 54%.

— By CNBC.com’s Justin Menza.