Plans to export US natural gas stir debate

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Associated Press

Posted on May 12, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Updated Monday, May 13 at 12:01 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A domestic natural gas boom already has lowered U.S. energy prices while stoking fears of environmental disaster.

Now U.S. producers are poised to ship vast quantities of gas overseas as energy companies seek permits for proposed export projects that could set off a renewed frenzy of fracking.

Expanded drilling is unlocking enormous reserves of crude oil and natural gas, and that's offering the potential of moving the country closer to its decades-long quest for energy independence.

Yet as the industry looks to profit from foreign markets, there is the specter of higher prices at home and increased manufacturing costs for products from plastics to fertilizers.

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