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In the recent meeting of the Central American Integration System in Costa Rica between US President Barak Obama and regional Heads of State, the subjects of the US exporting natural gas and the need to explore other energy sources were discussed.
Obama said that the United States might be able to help with the region’s growing energy demands by exporting liquefied natural gas.
“It is critical to create a regional energy market in Central America,” Obama said. The President also stated that the high cost of electricity in Central America, “is a disadvantage for businesses and families.” He pointed out that energy costs are three times more expensive in the region than in Washington DC.
At the meeting, Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli stated that, “If we have expensive energy, we will have expensive food and an uncompetitive economy. We request President Obama to consider the opportunity of assisting Central American countries so we can buy gas from the US at competitive prices.”
Obama’s Energy Department will decide whether to approve more than two dozen applications for natural gas exports to companies in countries that do not currently have a free-trade agreement with the United States.
Soon a decision will be made on whether the U.S. can export natural gas.
Obama said he approves, and that figures show that the US is positioned to be a net natural gas exporter by 2020. Obama said he will soon make a decision on whether the US can export natural gas and when he does, he will consider Central America and the rest of the continent.
It should be noted that the natural gas move is opposed by a bloc consisting of US businesses and environmentalists.
Natural gas exports are not the only options being considered. A White House fact sheet released in May said the United States supports the creation of the Central American Electrical Interconnection System, which will connect Central American electricity grids from Guatemala to Panama.
“Interconnection creates larger markets that can help attract the $25 billion in power-sector investments needed in Central America by 2030,” the fact sheet said. It added that the geothermal, solar, wind and hydropower resources of Central America will provide the elements of a diversified, lower-carbon power sector.