Act to remove restrictions on US LNG exports reintroduced

Thursday, 18 April 2019
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Three US Senators and a Representative have reintroduced an act in an attempt to remove perceived barriers placed on US natural gas exporters. 

The License Natural Gas (LNG) Now Act, backed by US Senators Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA), John Kennedy (R-LA), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and US Representative Clay Higgins (R-LA), is aimed at revamping the current system put in place by the US Department of Energy (DOE) decades ago and to continue market growth of US LNG exports without any delays, they said in a joint statement.

“Decades-old restrictions on importation and exportation have stalled LNG projects that would benefit Louisiana workers, the economy, and the environment,” said Dr Cassidy. “This legislation brings good-paying jobs to Louisiana while lowering global greenhouse gas emissions by replacing high emitting energy sources in foreign nations with cleaner burning American natural gas.”

“The best thing we can do to create jobs in Louisiana is to encourage investment in the LNG market,” said Senator Kennedy. “By removing job-killing restrictions, we can help Louisiana meet the worldwide demand for cleaner sources of energy. That will ignite investment and grow jobs.”

“I’m always working to grow West Virginia’s energy industry,” said Senator Capito.“This legislation would expand international markets for natural gas produced in West Virginia while supporting American foreign policy and reducing our allies’ dependence on hostile sources of energy, like Russia and Iran.”

“America is leading the way in clean, innovative LNG technologies that are changing the global energy landscape. Southwest Louisiana is at the center of these efforts,” said Representative Higgins.“The LNG Now Act streamlines the approval process for export permits and eliminates barriers that slow project development. This means greater access to international markets and more jobs and economic growth for our communities.”

Meeting demand

Under the act, the US would have the opportunity to meet the anticipated 4% - 5% of the annual LNG global demand growth. The administration would also retain the ability to limit natural gas importation and exportation levels during emergencies, disasters or exchanges with particular foreign nations.

The proposed act includes:

• Removes decades old restrictions on the exportation and importation of natural gas that have stalled development of previous projects.

• Guarantees acceptance of export volume applications to the DOE for export and import of natural gas without delay.

• Retains the DOE’s management and record keeping responsibilities.

• Has the potential to lower global CO2 emissions by foreign nations replacing high emitting energy sources with natural gas.

• Retains the administration’s ability to limit export or import of natural gas during national emergencies or disasters.

• Retains the administration’s ability to restrict import or export of natural gas to nations unfriendly to the US.

• Requires the US Secretary of Energy to submit a report to Congress on what actions could be taken by the Government to foster increased exportation of natural gas.

• Requires the Secretary of Energy to submit a report to Congress that identifies current regulations that inhibit the growth of the US natural gas market.

• Keeps the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) LNG export facility process intact. 

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