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  July 11th, 2017 | Written by

Senator Introduces Bill to Remove Restrictions on LNG Exports

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  • Legislation would revamp the Department of Energy's current export regulatory system.
  • Global demand for LNG is growing at four to five percent per year.
  • Legislation would allow administration to limit natural gas imports and exports levels during emergencies.

US Senator Bill Cassidy, a Republican of Louisiana, has introduced the License Natural Gas (LNG) Now Act to remove barriers placed on US exporters so they can quickly access the market and meet the global demand for natural gas. This legislation would revamp the current system put in place by the Department of Energy decades ago and establish market growth of US exports.

Under the act, the US would have the opportunity to meet the anticipated four to five percent of annual LNG global demand growth. The administration would also retain the ability to limit natural gas import and export levels during emergencies, disasters or exchanges with particular foreign nations.

The Energy Information Administration estimates there are nearly 2,500 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas, enough to last an estimated 93 years in the United States.

“The previous administration created hurdles that stalled LNG projects that benefit the economy, the environment, and Louisiana workers,” said Cassidy. “This legislation adds certainty to the approval process and brings investment, and better-paying jobs, to Louisiana.”

According to Cassidy, several projects have been forced to wait years. One recent project waited 1,642 days, as its export permits stalled at the Department of Energy. “The LNG Now Act would ensure that needless delays never happen again,” the senator said.

Several organizations have publicly endorsed the legislation, including the American Petroleum Institute, the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, G2 LNG, LNG Allies, and the Natural Gas Supply Association

“This legislation will streamline and focus the permitting process of exporting LNG from the United States,” said Thomas H. Hudson, CEO of G2 LNG. “It also signals to potential customers and global investors alike that the US government strongly supports the development of this abundant, cleaner, greener, lower-cost natural resource.”

“Opportunities for certainty in every aspect of natural gas policy are always beneficial for both producers and consumers,” said Dena Wiggins, President and CEO of the Natural Gas Supply Association, “and we look forward to working with policymakers to ensure a legislative and regulatory framework that works for industry, the consumer, and the public at large.”

“While the United States has a strong and transparent regulatory process for the approval of LNG export terminals,” said a statement from LNG Allies, an association of exporters, “there is no question that this process is expensive and time-consuming. LNG Allies supports measures that would lessen the time and expense of securing LNG project authorizations.”

Cassidy’s measure would remove restrictions on the export and import of natural gas, reduce wait time for export licenses, require the Secretary of Energy to report to Congress on actions that could be taken by the US Government to increase natural gas exports and to identify regulations that inhibit the growth of the U.S natural gas market.