By David Madden

LUSBY, Md. (CBS) — A Virginia based utility has announced plans to obtain natural gas from the Marcellus Shale field in Pennsylvania, liquefy it, and ship it overseas.

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Dominion Resources has filed paperwork to convert a plant on the Chesapeake Bay that now imports gas into an export facility for liquefied natural gas (LNG). They are just one of several companies seeking federal permission to deal with non-free-trade countries like India and Japan.

Dominion spokesman Dan Donovan says the plan would jumpstart drilling — and the economy — in parts of the Keystone State.

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“They had a kind of a boom. Drillers were in there. They were staying at the motels. They were eating at restaurants. They were hiring local people to do things to help.  And now they’ve kind of gone to other places,” he tells KYW Newsradio.

The move is also expected to improve America’s trade imbalance with the rest of the world.

But the new plant is not likely to be up and running until 2017.

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