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(Reuters) - When federal officials arrived in this scenic but economically struggling port a few weeks ago for hearings on a proposed liquefied natural gas plant, some residents had a sense of déjà vu: it was only six years earlier, in the same auditorium, that they had already discussed the pros and cons of an LNG plant.

But there was one big difference this time around: the 2006 plan was designed to bring gas in, while the current project calls for shipping gas out.

This literal change in direction illustrates how quickly the shale gas glut upended the U.S. energy balance, and how critical ports in the Pacific Northwest could be to the country’s re-emergence as an energy exporter, drawn by Asian demand. Read more

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