Energy and economic prosperity go together – on that most Americans agree. New polling finds strong majorities of registered voters connect exporting natural gas and new job creation, trade deficit reduction and a stronger economy.

The results mirror findings in other recent surveys on energy infrastructure investment and construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. All together, they tell decision makers to choose pro-energy development and investment policies to put more Americans to work and to make America stronger in the world today.

The newest survey, on exporting natural gas by Harris Poll, involved 1,000 registered voters and found:

  • 70 percent agree that exporting natural gas helps create American jobs. The total includes 79 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of Democrats.
  • 60 percent say exporting natural gas helps reduce the U.S. trade deficit – including 68 percent of voters between 18 and 34 years old.
  • 67 percent say exporting natural gas is good for the U.S. economy – including 73 percent of men and 61 percent of women.
  • 64 percent agree that exporting natural gas helps increase U.S. energy security by making the U.S. a major supplier in the world’s energy market.

API Chief Economist John Felmy said the survey reflects clarity among registered voters on the importance of choosing policies that harness America’s energy wealth:

“Voters understand that natural gas exports will create thousands of jobs and strengthen America’s position on the international stage. America is now the world’s top natural gas producer, and U.S. workers are ready to harness that energy to help our allies around the world and cut the trade deficit.”

Studies project large economic benefits to the United States from exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG). ICF International projects average net job growth will range from 73,100 to 452,300 between 2016 and 2035, with a net positive effect on U.S. GDP ranging from $15.6 billion a year to $73.6 billion by 2035.

But the U.S. isn’t the only player in the world energy market. Others around the globe also are looking to gain market share, which means the window of opportunity for U.S. LNG export projects could close. The Energy Department has approved seven export projects over the past year and a half, but more than 20 remain pending. Federal officials should approve those projects to give the U.S. the best chance to compete for world buyers. LNG exports would bring overseas wealth to this country, boost domestic production and help create new jobs. Felmy:

“The economic benefits are well-established. Policymakers should act now to accelerate Department of Energy approval for dozens of pending export applications. Voters will welcome efforts to lock-in America’s trade advantage as an energy superpower.”

Again, Americans see the link between strong domestic oil and natural gas development and economic growth that provides real help for them and their families.

Polling last month showed overwhelming support for more investment in energy infrastructure, with voters saying those investments will help create jobs and increase U.S. energy security. They also continue to back construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, saying it will add jobs and make the U.S. safer in the world by bolstering our energy partnership with Canada, our No. 1 source of imported oil.

Choosing American energy means jobs, fuel for economic growth, trade opportunities and more security in the world. While some in Washington fail to see these as flowing from pro-development policy choices, America’s registered voters clearly do.